After successfully (and in an ideal world, safely) wresting a pit from an avocado, most people discard the large, inedible seed in the trash. With Americans consuming 8 pounds of avocados per capita in 2018 alone, that adds up to a lot of food waste. A new startup has found a way to turn that waste into disposable utensils that are easier on the environment than the plastic kind—essentially killing two birds with one pit.
According to Simplemost, chemical engineer Scott Munguía founded Biofase in Mexico in 2014. His lightbulb moment came when he realized avocado seeds contain a biopolymer—a degradable material produced by organisms that can be used as an alternative to plastic. Today, Biofase uses a patented technology to turn leftover pits into sheets of heat-safe, bioplastic resin that can be cut into utensils. The company recycles roughly 130 tons of avocado seeds into forks, knives, straws, and spoons each month.
Biofase's products are more than an efficient application for food waste. The items consist of 60 percent avocado biopolymer and 40 percent synthetic organic compounds. When they end up in landfills, they break down in just 240 days. For comparison, disposable straws made of plastic can take 200 years to decompose. You can also add the avocado pit utensils to your compost pile at home for even more eco-friendly disposal.