The Whey to Make Plastic from Cheese

Every time a dairy farmer makes a ton of cheese the cows begin to bellow, and probably they are complaining about waste, because each ton also generates nine tons of whey as a bi-product, only 60% of which is then used in the production of other dairy products. The other 40% has been thrown away until now, and when you consider that Europe produces 75 million tons of whey a year, then that is clearly whey too much.

The Valencian government technological agency Ainia is participating in a European project called LIFE+ WHEYPACK to produce packaging for dairy products such as yogurt using 100% biodegradable material derived from excess whey.

The project, led by Ainia has the support and collaboration of AIMPLAS, the Valencian plastic technology institute, CENTRAL QUESERA MONTESINOS from Jumilla, Murcia and EMBALNOR, a Portuguese food packaging company.

The substance which will achieve the transformation is a polymer called Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB).

You can almost hear the cows coming home, over the moon, purring with satisfaction.


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