Posted by Tom Fitz
Tom Fitz
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on Tuesday, 08 November 2011
in Insights

Chilean Innovation is “The Pits”

Plum Waste Converted Into Gardening Accessories

We’ve all used the slogan “one person’s waste is another’s treasure”, and environmental pioneers are taking this phrase to heart in every aspect of their lives.

A Chilean “Green” Crusader

An example would be Chilean designer Genoveva Cifuentes, who realized that 47 thousand tons of waste was being generated annually by her country during the process to dehydrate plums.  Being the world’s second largest exporter of dehydrated plums, large quantities of pits and other by-products are collected and typically either burned or used for compost. 

Make Way for Inplum

Although composting is better than diverting the waste stream to landfills, Genoveva postulated that because the scrap is composed of cellulose and lignin, and since it has nutrients, it could make a resistant yet biodegradable material.  Enter her latest creation – Inplum - a line of gardening accessories such as pots, name sticks and seedbeds.

The products can all be put directly into soil, and in addition to being biodegradable, they also promote seed germination adding critical nutrients and thermic isolation. 

The project recently won the first prize in the Remade in Chile contest.  Clear direction has not been provided as to whether there are plans to go into full production in the near future or not.

Whether pursued as an independent venture, or a project subsidized by the government, the innovation seems like a perfect way to turn scrap into a line of products providing many benefits.