Beyond Plastic. An exploration of potato peels as an alternative biomaterial to single-use conventional plastic.

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
P1 OPINNÄYTTEET D 2019 Baranova
Degree programme
Collaborative and Industrial Design
More than 60% of plastic produced in recent decades has been discarded into the natural environment or landfills. At the same time, the major segments of overall plastic production are single-use items and packaging, which were designed to be disposed of immediately. Due to their small size and insufficient waste management, these items often leak from the collection systems into nature. As a means of addressing single-use plastic issues, bioplastics were introduced as a replacement for conventional plastics. However, many of these polymers do not biodegrade or require special conditions to fully degrade, which makes the degradation in the natural environment or landfills non-efficient. This thesis investigates and demonstrates the potential of potato peels as an alternative biomaterial to conventional plastics. As a general approach, this thesis employed a methodology that combined practice-led research and research-led practice within iteration cycles, in order to examine material properties and its processing methods. The primary tangible outcomes of the study were obtained through empirical research and material development; these include numerous material samples that represent different processing techniques, recipe variations, and operation complexity. The resulting application concept is presented as part of the material exploration. All of these research outcomes are further introduced as an open source knowledge. This study determined that potato peels are a potentially valuable raw resource, due to its low cost, abundance, and interesting material characteristics. Such biodegradable, compostable materials are the most appropriate in certain short-term applications, where biodegradability and compostability are among the core properties.
Lucero, Andrés
Thesis advisor
Lucero, Andrés
biomaterials, bioplastic, open source, potato peels, by-products, take-away container, molding
Other note