Coconuts find a Second Life

Waco-based Whole Tree has been researching uses for coconut husks for wo years, and recently partnered with packaging firm Compadre to design and test different uses for coconut-based materials. In addition to creating packaging from the husks, the companies are also working to improve the lives of coconut farmers by providing more income for farmers by using the husks.

The company has developed a nonwoven process for combining coconut fiber with thermoplastic to create a strong, durable material that can be formed for packaging.

The packaging is primarily used for packaging that goes inside boxes, such as packaged electronics. They are still exploring possibilities for outer packaging.

Coconuts- The Next Study For Sustainable Packaging

In our environmentally conscious world, the packaging industry is scouring resources for materials to implement into sustainable packaging applications. The newest to enter the conversation? Coconuts. Because of their strength and low water-absorption, coconuts might be a great candidate for eco-friendly packaging material. Researchers have begun putting it to the test.

There are many positives when looking at coconuts as a sustainable packaging material. They are a readily available resource and can be found in many places around the globe. Moreover, they’re already being harvested for coconut oils and juices. The coir, or husk, can easily be processed to produce sturdy material for packaging instead of being left for waste. Coir is strong enough to perform better than most conventional materials in categories such as density, water-absorption and swelling without the addition of chemical binders. No chemical additives mean this green packaging alternative is safe for your compost pile after use.

In today’s world, coir has many uses in furniture, horticulture products, etc. With that said, the husks are very under-utilized. Only 10 percent is currently being extracted for use in other products. You can see the opportunity of having an abundant resource if it proves to be a great packaging solution.

Another positive aspect of this innovation is that it would give a revenue boost to struggling coconut farmers around the globe.

For more information on green packaging concepts and ideas visit Green Packaging 365.