A farm family is turning watermelon waste into biodegradable plastics

An Indiana farm family is working to prevent food waste, and they are suing leftover parts form some of America’s favorite fruits to create biodegradable plastics. They say it is in high demand, and they have already got customers lined up.

“Working with the local farmers, we started to figure out there was a significant amount of watermelon waste, so we started to do some experimentation and figured out that there are chemical properties that exist in the watermelon that can be used as one of the ingredients that we can make a 100-percent biodegradable plastic. My wife, Katie, is a food scientist so she understands all the chemical properties. With my experience in chemical engineering, we were able to work together and come up with biodegradable plastics. We’re openly collaborating with other plastics industry companies, as well as scientists from across the world and from the universities,” he says. “We will be working jointly together on developing innovation by having that Bioplastics Innovation Center right here. It’s going to create some huge opportunities,” said Brian Southern.

The company recently broke ground on a new $80 million facility in Southern Indiana. It makes up nearly 200,000 square feet and will bring 250 jobs to the area.