Opportunities for circular horticulture: leather from mangos or tomatoes

Regional Minister Adri Bom-Lemstra has opened Biobased Greenport West-Holland's pop-up show in the World Horti Centre (WHC) in Naaldwijk. This is where visitors discover which biobased and circular possibilities the horticulture offers: leather, thread and cardboard made from tomato vines.

Biobased Greenport West-Holland (a Greenport West-Holland programme) is a network organisation of companies, knowledge and chain partners, authorities, and social organisations. Together, they work of the realisation and enhancement of the circular bioeconomy in the horticulture. “Residual flows can be turned into useful products”, says project manager Willem Kemmers. “This avoids the waste of valuable material and may generate new or additional earning models.”

Textiles and hand gel

The first examples are here. A hand disinfectant based on Celosia and bay leaf was recently launched. And mango peels that can be processed into leather, tomato vines from which cardboard, leather and thread are made. Nienke Binnendijk of Blue City, where this tomato fabric is being developed in collaboration with Biophilica, a start-up from London: ‘’It is the coolest thing, discovering all the things you can make from tomato fibres. We have cooperated with many people to investigate what you can do with the fibres. That is the only way to come up with solutions that stand a chance to work on a larger scale, such as this leather-like material.’’  Crops may even be specially developed for their specific substances. Examples are available on-line as well: www.bioboost-platform.com.

Adri Bom-Lemstra, Regional Minister of Agriculture and Horticulture of the Province of Zuid-Holland and Chairperson of Greenport West-Holland: “The Dutch horticulture is renowned worldwide for its knowledge and innovations. These circular projects are yet another prime example to contribute to the preservation of our international top position.” The pop-up show is to inspire the visitors to the WHC. Businesses and institutions with their own biobased applications are therefore cordially invited to present their products here.