Pizza robots are now turning waste into packaging

Unilever and PepsiCo have a goal of designing 100% of packaging to be reusable, recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025. Companies like Zume, which was previously a robotics pizza company, are trying to ease the transition from composting to brands, agents and distributors through Agricultural Waste Containers and other local materials for businesses that need them.

Zume is part of a growing list of companies dedicated to compostable packaging. The sustainable packaging industry is a $ 274.2 billion per year business that is expected to grow to $ 413.8 billion by 2027, according to Grand View Research. The packaging industry as a whole is about $ 900 billion, so Zume and its competitors have a lot of work ahead of them.

Zume has re-commissioned its fleet of pizza-making robots to press and mold its mix of agricultural waste into take-out containers, cosmetic containers, and whatever else Zume or its partners can come up with.

Zume President and CEO Alex Garden explained to CNBC: “Previously, machines could do very low-quality things quickly. Some machines could do high-quality things very slowly. But they were so expensive that they would be outrageous to the consumer. What makes our technology so revolutionary is that it can make very high quality parts very quickly. “

But only about 27% of the US population has access to some type of composting program that accepts only food waste or food waste and some forms of compostable packaging, so it is not yet a ubiquitous solution.

Rafael Auras, professor at the Michigan State University School of Packaging, says: “The problem is that the waste management system is still statewide. So we have 50 states with different types of goals. So we should try to get at least one state aggregation, or the government can pass legislation on where we have goals to move the whole country forward. “

CNBC took a look at Zume’s compostable packaging facility in Camarillo, CA, to see its robots in action.

Watch the CNBC video exploring Zume and the compostable packaging industry.

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