A Canadian start-up that makes compostable fibres out of farm and food byproducts has won The Green Pursuit, a national sustainability and innovation challenge hosted by Dairy Farmers of Canada and Bioenterprise Canada. Aruna Revolution of Nova Scotia takes home the $45,000 grand prize for its unique approach to transforming some of Canada’s 35.5 million tonnes of annual agricultural byproduct and food industry waste — like canola stalks, corn stover, leaves, pulps and peels — into 100 per cent biodegradable, compostable, plastic-free menstrual pads.
The Aruna team has developed a proprietary fibre extraction process as well as a novel, leak-proof pad layer where natural fibres play a key role. Much of their research and development has focused on characterizing fibre properties instead of identifying specific plants or crops that could work well for their products.
Currently, Aruna is sourcing fibres in Nova Scotia from local farmers but as the company grows, she expects to look for fibre suppliers across Canada. “Because of the scale of menstrual products needed, we will need a wide variety of materials, and as we scale up and set up micro-manufacturing facilities in different parts of the country, we can use more local fibres,” she says, adding interested farmers or food processors can contact the company directly to explore possible supply agreements.
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