The Proservation founding team has made “packaging with reason” its motto. To achieve this, they use natural materials for their new packaging material, which is based on grain husks.
Packaging materials such as Styrofoam represent a major environmental burden
Packaging materials such as Styropor are anything but environmentally friendly. The production process alone requires a considerable amount of petroleum, and the material is difficult to dispose of because it is not easily degradable.
Lisa Antonie Scherer addressed this problem as part of a study project in the Packaging Development Management course at Stuttgart Media University. Her solution: a styrofoam-like, new alternative made from grain husks.
Grain husks become styrofoam-like sustainable packaging material.
Grain husks have several advantages in production.
First of all, for some types of grain, the wrappings of the cereal grains are a natural waste product that is produced in large quantities in mills. Their naturally grown cavities provide a perfect starting point for the desired packaging material, as they have a styrofoam-like cushioning effect and insulating properties.
With the help of an ecological binding agent and pressing into a negative mold, the relatively light, naturally degradable packaging made from husks is finally created. Although the material, which Proservation has named RECOU, is a little heavier than Styrofoam, the difference is not extreme.
RECOU currently still under EU patent review
However, RECOU is not yet ready for the market. Currently, a European patent for the material of the four-member team is under review and they have also been able to realize some pilot projects, but they are still looking for funding and co-investors.
For now, the goal is to scale up production to industrial standards before considering further steps or other products made from the grain husks. In principle, however, this is certainly possible, he said.
“There are, of course, other areas of application where you could think about it,” Henning Tschunt, one of the co-founders, told the Greentech.Live conference in October 2022. “It’s quite versatile, from interior design – as the inside of some furniture, for example – to insulation, to soundproofing. [That] can all be considered.”
For more on the topic, watch the video of the conference on YouTube:
In addition, here is also the official company video from Proservation.