RESEARCHERS at the universities of Bangor and Aberystwyth have developed a technique where the sugar is squeezed out of ryegrass and the leftovers are moulded to create packaging.
The technique can be used to make packaging trays for soft fruits such as pears and plums, as well as cosmetics. The project is funded with £600,000 of Welsh government money, and the supermarket chain Waitrose is a partner.
Similar forms of sustainable packaging have been developed before, using wood, but experts at Bangor University claim this method using grass has never been done before.
Robert Elias, commercial manager of Bangor’s BioComposites Centre, said the grass containers developed were “higher quality, more resistant to damage and easily composted after use”.
The researchers said the project highlighted the need to support the rural economy and said that as well as finding a new use for excess grass cuttings the plans could minimise land wastage.