字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 We just can't seem to get enough guac. Last year, Americans consumed more than 6 billion avocados. And that produces a lot of inedible waste. Now, a company has developed a process to transform avocado pits into plastic. Bioplastics like these could help reduce pollution because they break down faster and use less fossil fuels. But how they're made and disposed of determines if they really are a cleaner alternative. We visited Biofase in Monterrey, Mexico, to see how it all works. Mexico exports about half of the world's avocados. A single worker at this plantation in Michoacán can cut over 800 pounds of the fruit per day. Many of these avocados will be shipped whole, but some are pitted and processed locally. This factory produces ready-to-eat guacamole and salsa. They tried composting the avocado scraps, but it didn't work. Avocado pits contain oils that made the process complicated. So now they sell their seeds to Biofase. Bioplastics are what we call products that are mostly made of biological substances instead of petroleum. The process starts with avocado seeds that have been washed at the supplying factory. As the seed is going through the machine, it's turned into a bioplastic resin that's ready to withstand a lot of heat. What comes out the other end is a malleable sheet that can be molded and cut into different shapes. Studies have shown that bioplastics are an improvement over traditional plastics. It takes less fossil fuels to produce them, they contain fewer toxic chemicals, and they decompose faster. The technology to make these products has improved over the past few years and has grown to a nearly $20 billion industry. That's about the same size as the rapidly growing plant-based meat industry. Biofase is part of that trend. The company launched eight years ago with a single facility. Today it has three locations across Mexico. But there are issues. Bioplastics require special industrial facilities to properly compost, and they can contaminate the regular recycling stream. They're also more expensive than regular plastic, which is made from readily available petroleum. There are two reasons, because first of all, crude oil is quite cheap right now. And secondly, the production capacity for bioplastics is much lower, while for fossil-based plastics it's much bigger. So they have an economy of scale in terms of production. Biofase produces about 130 tons of bioplastics each month. That's equivalent to the conventional plastic waste produced by 13,000 Americans. It's a modest output for now, but Biofase products are shipped across Mexico, the UK, and other countries in Europe. And the company recently expanded to Australia. But there's a long way to go. Bioplastics, I think, is probably a little bit less than 1% of the fossil-based plastics. For now, they are mostly used in restaurants. But the idea that biodegradables can be thrown into nature and will eventually go away is false. It can take up to a year for bioplastics to break down in natural conditions. That's still plenty of time to clog waterways or harm animal habitats. Still, that's much shorter than conventional plastic items, some of which will stick around for hundreds of years. Bioplastics can replace some traditional plastics. So far, that's only been tried on a small scale, but thanks to Biofase, we may be one avocado toast away from a cleaner planet.