Monterrey sells avocado seed straws

Mexican company BIOFASE is selling biodegradable straws made out of avocado seeds

Monterrey sells avocado seed straws
BIOFASE is making straws out of bio-based plastic under the ASTM D6400 international standard - Photo: eyewave/EL UNIVERSAL
English 16/06/2018 12:42 Newsroom Mexico City Georgina Navarro Actualizada 14:44

Avocado seeds can help us change the environment, for it is the source of the resin that the company BIOFASE uses to create eco-friendly plastic. With this invention, the company from Monterrey, Nuevo León, has started making biodegradable cutlery and, since last February, it has begun selling biodegradable straws

BIOFASE is making straws out of bio-based plastic under the ASTM D6400 international standard, which means that it takes 240 days for them to degrade, at most.

At an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, Scott Munguía, general director of the company and creator of the resin, explains the way his invention has evolved in time: “The company came to be in 2012 through a discovery. I was in college, and I found that there was a biopolymer in avocado seeds which could be transformed into biodegradable thermoplastic; a type of plastic which can biodegrade.

He told that his first step was creating the technology at the lab, then he had to industrialize his invention, and finally, he had to generate demand in the market: “We lost so much money at first, we worked hard to find a proper price and establish our supply chain,” he stated.

He also commented that a lot of people think the resin comes from the avocado fruit itself, but it only comes from the seed: “the avocado seed is an agroindustrial waste. The avocado is one of our country’s most emblematic products, and there are companies that generate a huge waste of avocado seeds,” he explained.

Although the company is based in Monterrey, BIOFASE opened a new plant in Morelia in 2014. From there, they started selling the resin exclusively, enabling customers to manufacture all kinds of products such as bags, bottles, and containers. They are currently exporting their products to Costa Rica, USA, Colombia, and Guatemala, with distributors spread across northern Mexico.

In two or three months we will be launching a line of cups, plates, and food containers. Our goal is to have every resin sub-product fabricated here at BIOFASE, from the seed to the final distribution,” he stated.

Mungía explained that if this analogy were applied to oil instead of plastic, it would be as if they were making crude oil extractions, refinery, ethylene processing, sub-product distribution, and sales. There are 60 to 70 companies involved in the production line of oil products.

“With BIOFASE, we want to make everything in the same place. Our main goal right now is to reduce product prices.”

Those interested may consult BIOFASE’s online store. For MXN$500 customers can get 15 boxes of 150 straws each, which will be delivered at their chosen address. A regular straw costs 10 cents, whereas the BIOFASE biodegradable straws cost 22 cents each. The customer only has to pay 12 extra cents to contribute to environmental sustainability.

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