Did you know that globally, one-third of the food produced for human consumption is lost, which is about 1.3 billion tons? That is why at Planet Forward, we are looking for new ideas to help reduce food waste.
This week's Bloomberg West segment highlights one potential answer to the food waste problem: recycling coconuts. Billions of coconuts are taking up space in landfills around the world, but what if we could take that waste and turn it into something useful--on a really big scale? Natural Composites, a company based out of Texas, is doing just that. Coconuts are high in lignin, the natural compound found in wood, which allows them to be used for a variety of applications where other naturals that are more cellulose based would not as favorable. Natural Composites takes the husks from discarded coconuts and grinds them up.
This coconut powder is being used for car parts right now because powder is easier to work with than tire rubber, needs less energy and causes less wear and tear on the machines, but this is only the beginning. Coconut powder may end up bringing added strength and lightness to a lot of consumer products in the future and Natural Composites is leading the charge.
Are there other useful applications for this new product that you can think of? What do you think?