AIMPLAS and OLIPE use olive stones to develop a new sustainable plastic material for oil product packaging

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Spain is the world’s leading olive oil producer and generates considerable waste during the olive stoning process. This waste is currently incinerated for power generation. However, AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Centre, and OLIPE, Olivarera de los Pedroches, have carried out a project entitled GO-OLIVA, aimed at finding a high value-added application for this olive stone waste by producing a new sustainable material for oil product packaging.

The result is Oliplast, a new biodegradable, compostable, plastic compound material made with materials from renewable sources, namely, a filler or reinforcement derived from olive oil and a thermoplastic material. Oliplast can be processed through extrusion and injection moulding in order to manufacture new products such as trays and plates to hold bottles, as well as caps for packaging containers for cosmetic creams made with olive oil.

The GO-OLIVA project is jointly funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) (80 %) and the Spanish government (20 %).

Main results
  1. Work carried out to-date has involved selecting raw materials and developing an olive stone that can be used to obtain the new material.
  2. The next step will be to carry out a behavioural study so the material can be validated for transformation processes.
  3. Finally, an environmental study will be carried out to determine the material’s compostability.