Spotlight TEDx Talk: How we’re turning wastewater from a chocolate plant into candy wrappers

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(Photos: Olivier Huisman / Gerben Stouten)

Chocolate plant wastewater + hungry bacteria = environmentally-friendly candy wrappers. At TEDxAmsterdam, biochemist Gerben Stouten explains how a team at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands is using very hungry bacteria to transform wastewater from the biggest chocolate plant in Europe into plastic fit for candy wrappers.

“We created an environment which allows a very peculiar group of organisms to thrive,” Stouton says, “[Bacteria that] in a matter of hours [can] develop a belly that is nine times the size that [it] is originally.” This bacteria cleans the wastewater through excessive consumption, and the “fat” they develop while consuming waste just happens to be a bioplastic, Stouton says, which can be used to make any number of plastic items, including candy wrappers.

Watch the whole talk below:

Insight from the TEDx office — why we like this talk:

The speaker is an accredited biochemist who presents a research project likely to affect efforts in sustainability, conservation and consumerism in his community. He presents a complex proccess in a way that is clear, succinct and paired with compelling visuals.

 

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