A European Commission initiative to convert citrus waste into sustainable products has developed a range of solutions for the cosmetics and packaging sectors.
The Citruspack project has come up with three prototypes: a juice bottle, a cosmetics jar and a facial moisturiser, using discarded citrus skins and pulp.
The project is being coordinated by Zaragoza-based technology centre AITIIP and counts on the support of several leading laboratories and companies including Eroski, AMC Innova Juice and Drinks among others.
The first phase of the research focused on creating a bioplastic (without a petroleum base), which was mixed with natural fibre made from the peel and pulp of discarded citrus fruits.
The material was used to make the compostable juice bottle and cosmetics jar, as well as several formulations of moisturising masks and face creams from citrus powder and essential oils.
The project paves the way for the creation of other solutions to the question of how to deal with the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of citrus waste Spain generates each year.
At present the waste has virtually no value and is used mainly to feed livestock. But it poses the challenge of rapid fermentation, as well as its relatively high cost of transportation due to its high moisture content.