When you think of Mexico, you think of tequila and guacamole, says Scott Munguia. If he has his way, you might also be thinking of something else made from the avocado: plastic made from the seed. As plastic straws and disposable cutlery fall out of favor for their potential to inflict environmental damage, a company with an alternative that uses avocado pits is getting more attention. Morelia, Michoacán-based Biofase is manufacturing biodegradable cutlery and straws made out avocado seeds using a process whose beginnings date back to 2012. Scott Mungía was a chemical engineering student at the time and, being motivated to solve pollution problems, was looking for a reliable source for biodegradable plastic. After a trial-and-error process that tested the properties of raw materials such as mango and mamey sapote seeds, he happened to be reading a paper that included a picture of the corn molecule used to make bioplastic. "I already knew what the avocado seed molecule looked like." says Munguia. The idea was born. He went through two years of development, and now, with a team of 14 employees is poised to open a plant with a capacity of 700 tons a month in November. Mexico […]

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