Scientists at the University of Alberta have developed a method for using canola straw, the portion of the canola plant usually discarded after the crop is harvested for its oil, to improve and strengthen a newly developed, plant-based plastic food wrap.
Using the cellulose nanofibers found in canola straw that would otherwise be discarded in some manner, the research team was able to create a clear plastic much like cling film. This ability has the potential to open new marketing channels for Canada’s canola growers, and to create a new processing industry, while reducing the volume of plastic headed for the landfill.
The head of the research team said that canola straw remains underexplored and underutilized, however, it can be processed to be highly concentrated, and there exist additional potential uses for it by the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, and biomedical industries.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.