Oban firm to pro­duce wrap from prawns

The Oban Times - - NEWS - by Kathie Grif­fiths kgrif­[email protected]­times.co.uk

A small com­pany turn­ing lan­gous­tine shells into com­postable food-wraps hopes to get out of the lab and start small-scale pro­duc­tion later this sum­mer.

In April, CuanTec, based at Dun­staffnage, suc­cess­fully crowd­funded £5,036 from 131 sup­port­ers in just 42 days to help it work as fast as pos­si­ble to come up with anti-mi­cro­bial food pack­ag­ing to make food last longer, avoid­ing plas­tic and food waste at the same time.

Since Jan­uary last year, the com­pany has al­ready got pro­to­types of three food pack­ag­ing films.

CuanTec mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist Dr Tracey White met mem­bers of Awak­en­ing Ar­gyll call-toac­tion group last week to tell them about it.

‘This sum­mer we’re hop­ing to get small-scale pro­duc­tion out of the lab and start pro­duc­ing some­thing, hope­fully in Oban,’ she said.

And she added the ex­pan­sion would bring in more jobs.

Very few chem­i­cals are used in the process to make the al­ter­na­tive plas­tic wrap. Re­searchers are also look­ing at ways of us­ing it to make hard mould forms from the nat­u­ral biopoly­mer, called chitin, which they can get from crushed lob­ster and crab shells. It can also come from mush­rooms and in­sects.

Also at last Thurs­day’s meet­ing in Ben­der­loch’s Read­ing Room was Peter Leckie, project man­ager for Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s next 10-year waste strat­egy re­view.

He said it was cru­cial as part of the next strat­egy that waste had to be stopped from be­com­ing waste in the first place and that sur­pluses had to be pre­vented.

Mr Leckie said the coun­cil’s old waste strat­egy was ‘no longer fit for pur­pose’. He also spoke about the Scot­tish Govern­ment ban on biodegrad­able mu­nic­i­pal waste go­ing to land­fill from Jan­uary 2021.

He said: ‘If we need to land­fill by 2021 we will have failed. It’s mis­sion crit­i­cal for the coun­cil that we achieve this waste ban.’

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