Researchers in Ontario say they’re working on plans to show food waste, comparable to potato peels and corn stalks, into plastic and nylon that might be used to create on a regular basis items comparable to yoga pants.
The Ontario Genomics’ recent wasteCANcreate program looks to make use of genomics to assist divert tons of waste into useful household clothes and items.
This system involves a consortium of companies spread from Orillia to Burlington to Aylmer in Ontario to others in Vancouver and Regina who’re working alongside the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Carleton University .
“What we will do with genomics to to tackle our waste problem is, is one other great news story,” Ontario Genomics president Dr. Bettina Hamelin told Global News.
Genomics are currently getting used across a variety of disciplines including across the medical world.
“Genomics is all in regards to the DNA. The DNA is the blueprint of any kind of life, whether that’s human life or vegetation or animal life,” Hamelin said.
“We now have the flexibility to investigate the DNA and we derive plenty of information from that that we will use, for instance, to diagnose disease or to decide on the best drug for the best person to ensure that treatments are effective.”
Within the case of wasteCANcreate, the project will involve a process called precision fermentation which allows tiny creatures to snack on starchy foods after which poop out tiny particles of plastic waste which could then be used to make larger plastic and nylon products comparable to water bottles or athletic wear.
“We try this by amplifying a natural process where microbes which might be naturally occurring, feed on food waste like potato skins and potatoes and starch, and the microbes have the flexibility to feed on that food waste after which turn it into components of products like bioplastics or nylons, plastic movies, etc.,” Hamelin explained.
“It’s a process that’s called ‘precision fermentation’ and we do that in a controlled environment which allows us to scale up the method and harvest the products we set out to provide.”
If it successfully scales up, she says the food transformation project can have an amazing impact on the environment.
“On average, every Canadian produces 140 kg of food waste every 12 months, costs us $1300 dollars, and the waste leads to landfills,” she said. “And what that does, it produces greenhouse gases, and that’s just not good for the environment.
“The chance here is absolutely to scale back the waste and reduce greenhouse gases and make the environment higher.”
Hamelin says we’re to start with stages of development to place the wasteCANcreate program into place.
“We now have all of those pathways found out,” she explained. “We’ve gotten engagement from the industry partners and from our university partners and are hard at work to give you these solutions,” she said.
“But, you recognize, we realized this was a place to begin and it would hopefully bloom from here and we will bring more partners on board and lift extra money to do more of that because we desperately need it.”
The pinnacle of Ontario Genomics also identified that the industry is anticipated to thrive in the approaching years and there will likely be hundreds of job openings in the realm.
“Biotechnology is blooming. It’s you recognize, we actually discuss a bio revolution that is going on on the market and that may require a workforce,” she said. “We now have put out a report last 12 months that estimates that over the following 5 to 7 years we’d like no less than 85,000 people working on this area.”
Biochemistry, data sciences and engineering were areas of study at universities that she suggested people get into.
“Universities are great grounds to create these interdisciplinary connections and networks,” she explained.
“Nevertheless, colleges are a extremely excellent place as well to get exposed to to biotechnology and we’re working closely with a variety of colleges within the province to develop programs and micro credentials so that people can actually get that type of exposure in the school world as well.”