A new study by researchers at Oregon State University is working on ways to turn the waste from apples and other fruits into environmentally friendly packaging materials to replace plastic. Professor Yanyun Zhao said they are currently lookin at using the fruit waste from processing.

"So, we are facing this plastic packaging crisis because we know the potential harm for environment and our ecosystems with those plastic or even other type of packing. So, that’s why I mentioned in my lab, we’re really trying to find solutions.”

And to that end, Zhao said fruit waste offers a couple of great benefits.

“When you’re using bioproducts to develop the compostable packing, you help solve two problems. One is developing a more environmentally sustainable packing to improve the stability. Another thing is converting, we call repurposing bioproducts to develop compostable packing.”

Right now, Zhao says the focus is on apple pomace because it is so readily available in the Pacific Northwest. The research is supported by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

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