Spain is the world’s leading olive oil producer and therefore generates considerable waste during the stoning process. This waste is currently incinerated for power generation. However, AIMPLAS and OLIPE, Olivarera de los Pedroches, have implemented the GO-OLIVA project to find a high value-added application for this waste by producing a new sustainable packaging material for oil packaging items.
The result is Oliplast, a new biodegradable, compostable, plastic compound material made with materials from renewable sources, namely, a filler or reinforcement from olive oil and a thermoplastic material. Oliplast can be processed by extrusion and injection moulding to manufacture new products such as trays and plates to hold bottles, as well as caps for packaging containers for cosmetic creams made with olive oil.
Work done to date has involved selecting raw materials and developing an olive stone that can be used to obtain the new material. The next step will be to perform a behavioural study so the material can be validated for transformation processes. Finally, an environmental study will be carried out to determine the material’s compostability.
GO-OLIVA is framed within the call for grant applications for innovative projects to be carried out by supra-regional Operational Groups (GO) of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) as part of the National Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (EAFRD) for 2019. The project has a total budget of €340,131.38 and has received a grant for €316,131.38, of which 80% is co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and 20% by the Spanish government.