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A design student at the School of Form in Poznań, Poland has come up with a new type of fully-edible and recyclable packaging, a bio-cellulose material which is actually a product of fermentation. Scoby (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast), the innovative packaging solution, was created by Roza Janusz for her graduation project, and its production method could allow farmers to grow their own packaging, producing no waste.

Janusz describes her work as “a process between making and growing,” Co.Design reports. Scoby is edible and vegan.

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The material can be grown with a simple chemical process invented by Janusz. Her production method involves adding sugars and other organic substances to … kombucha, a fermented drink made with tea, yeast, and bacteria.

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According to Janusz, the average growth time per one sheet of the material is two weeks. After that time, a membrane forms on the surface of the fermenting mixture. Because of this fascinating process, the product “has a light taste of kombucha,” but when it is cooked with its content, it absorbs the food’s taste.

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The packaging material has a long shelf life and stays edible for a long time thanks to its low pH. “My first material prototype made a half year ago is still edible,” Janusz said. Among the products that can be packaged in Scoby are herbs, seeds, or instant meals that could be cooked together with the wrapper.

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After presenting the material this spring, Janusz is actively working to turn it into a commercial product. Interest in alternative packaging methods is bigger than ever thanks to growing awareness about our plastic pollution crisis. Plastic-free, environmentally-friendly solutions like this one are gaining popularity – and hopefully, they are the true future of food packaging.

Interested in learning more about how you can cut plastic out of your everyday life? Check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.

All image source: Roza Janusz