Work has begun on developing a commercial production plant in northern Italy, which will process tomato processing waste to make bio-resins for use as coatings in food packaging. The new facility’s bio-resin production will reduce CO2 emissions and hazardous chemical use, compared to the production of existing, fossil fuel-based resins.
The bio-resin is made from cutin extracted from tomato peel and will be used as a coating for metal cans, packaging for – among other things – tomato sauces. New start-up Tomapaint is developing the facility, which will ultimately be capable of processing 1500 t of tomato waste a year and providing enough cutin to satisfy both Italian, European and international markets. Carbon emissions are 730 mg lower per metal can, compared to conventional coatings. If used across all of Italy’s metal can production, this would represent a reduction of emissions equivalent to 1 million kg of CO2 per year.