Student’s Corner

Avocado Plastic

It is estimated that about 60%, or about 5 billion tonnes, of the plastic produced since the early 1950s has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment. To put that into perspective, that is almost 17.5 times the weight of the global human population. As much as this is a waste management problem, it is better to tackle the issue at the source.

One of the solutions already out there is to replace traditional petroleum-based plastics with bio-based plastics. These often emit fewer greenhouse gases from production, and better yet, they decompose a lot faster! This replacement would make waste management a lot simpler as most bio-based plastics are compostable.

One type of bioplastic that I find particularly incredible is made of avocado pits. Essentially, avocado seeds are processed and turned into a bioplastic resin that can be heated and molded into almost anything we want. This is currently being done by a company in Mexico called Biofase.

Speaking of eliminating waste at the source, Mexico exports almost 50% of the world’s avocados, some of which are already pitted and processed. Biofase receives a lot of their avocado seeds from companies that do just that, meaning a shorter transport for the seeds to their upcycling facility.

Another great aspect of this technology is that avocado pits are not easily compostable on their own as they contain oils that make the process complicated. That is not great news considering the U.S. alone consumes about 2.6 billion pounds of avocados per year, or to be consistent with scales, almost 1.2 million tonnes per year. However, if we were able to turn our avocado waste into compostable bioplastic, that would solve many waste management problems and help protect our environment.

Written by Zein Tynon, Class of 2024



Business Insider. “How Avocado Waste Is Turned Into Plastic | World Wide Waste.” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Jan. 2021.

Rettner, Rachael. “The Weight of the World: Researchers Weigh Human Population.” LiveScience, Purch, 30 May 2013.

Shahbandeh, M. “Avocado Industry – Statistics & Facts.” Statista, 2 Mar. 2021.

UN Environment, “Our planet is drowning in plastic pollution—it’s time for change!“.

Photo Credits:

Photo by Dirk Ribbler on Unsplash.