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The University of Maine Develops Recyclable Nanocellulose Food Containers


According to the Bangor Daily News, a research team led by Dr. Mehdi Tajvidi has developed a substitute for single-use plastic containers for food.  The product is based on pulp derived from recycled wood composites with a coating composed of cellulose nanofibrils derived from lignin, a component of trees.


Dr. Tajvidi stated, “Research in my lab has focused on two main topics, using cellulose nano- materials as binders in composites for building and automotive applications and producing renewable packaging materials with barrier properties against oxygen, water, oil and grease.  The containers fabricated using this technology are fully recyclable maintaining their grease-resistant properties.”


It is estimated that 80 percent of marine waste comprises plastic materials and that a high proportion is represented by single-use plastic items, including fruit containers, disposable tableware and bottles.