Chilean designer makes new material out of discarded plum parts

Part of the Remade in Chile contest, an industrial designer has made practical, biodegradable products out of one of the country's biggest exports.
Written by Beth Carter, Contributing Editor

This year's winner of Remade in Chile looked to one of her country's biggest exports for inspiration: dehydrated plums. Chile is the world's second largest exporter of the dried fruit, and in the process, 47 tons of pits and pulp are composted or discarded annually.

The Remade in Chile contest is an initiative that seeks to promote and circulate ideas for the reuse of waste materials in the form of innovative design.

Last year's winner, Montserrat Flores from the University Diego Portales, developed a material called "Ewe," that was made of discarded woolen noils (woolen chains that still has grass and straw in it), and formed into flexible waterproof sheets for a sustainable way to store electronic devices.

This year's first prize, however, went to industrial designer Genoveva Cifuentes, who took the gold by making a sturdy, yet biodegradable, material from the plum remains called "Inplum."

The discarded plum parts are rich in nutrients, containing cellulose and lignin, which gave the designer the idea to fashion this new material into pots and seedbeds for home gardening.

Every product can be put directly into the soil, and they help seedlings to grow by adding the nutrients and protection.

Cifuentes has not said whether Inplum will be produced, but it's always good to remember the second command in the recycling chain: reuse.

[Via Treehugger]
Photos: Remade in Chile

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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