No Waste Challenge Winner Sustrato Employs Pineapple Leaves to Create Biomaterials
The competition's winning project converts local waste into biomaterials in order to introduce organic-waste made products
One of What Design Can Do’s No Waste Challenge winners, Sustrato transforms pineapple industry waste into biomaterials and sustainable products. Sustrato is an experimental project that was founded by Mexican resident Andrea Michael De La Peña Aguirre as a final year project for her bachelor’s degree. After researching local agro-industrial waste and its management in Mexico, she converted it into a material experiment.
Initially, the sole aim of the Sustrato project was to pinpoint the significance of the organic waste, which can be converted into biomaterials. The four biomaterial products made from pineapple leaf waste include rope, bio-plastic, felt and an agglomerated material.
The designer is a graduate in Industrial Design at Centro de Diseño, Cine y Television in Mexico. After which, she continued to study in the Fine Arts department at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in The Netherlands.
According to De La Peña Aguirre, both experiences increased her interest in working with materials at the initial point of her work. To understand materiality, she incorporates “multi-disciplinary methodologies such as contextual research, material experimentation and conceptual re-interpretation of cultural and environmental principles.”
De La Peña Aguirre tried several organic wastes before using pineapple leaves but some degraded within two years. Many other organic wastes are still being tested. She explained;
I discovered which was the main waste in the production of different agricultural products and which are obtained in bigger quantities. Then, with that information, I chose some of those wastes to start the experimentation to transform them into biomaterials.
With increased awareness, the usage of plastic could stop soon and there is an urgent need for a better alternative that would not disturb the ecosystems in any way. These biomaterials could be an efficient and sustainable substitute for plastics. The designer wishes to expand the venture and emphasizes introducing new organic-waste-made products in the market.
Via: Design Indaba