Valdís Steinarsdóttir, a renowned Icelandic designer, has reportedly unveiled a new initiative wherein she would be turning byproducts obtained from the meat sector into bioplastic material that can be used for packaging and vessels made out of bones.
Steinarsdóttir was seen creating containers out of ground-up animal bones as part of the Just Bones project, while Bioplastic Skin converts animal skin into a viable packaging material that can be used to package the meat of the same animal.
As per reports, both these innovative materials can dissolve completely in hot water and are biodegradable with a lifespan of just weeks. Steinarsdóttir’s designs are supposedly an attempt to develop new ways of effectively reuse the waste that is created at slaughterhouses.
Steinarsdóttir stated that the topic of meat processing is and immensely difficult as well as morally challenging one to explore. However, this is exactly what inspired her to move ahead with this design project. Steinarsdóttir added that as designers people need to have an unflinching resolve that helps them tackle any uncomfortable issues and often, to make newer discoveries, it’s good to look back and rethink the norms that are accepted as well as ways of doing certain things that are already established.
Steinarsdóttir apparently sources her materials from regional farmers and slaughterhouses before converting them into the new packaging materials. The Just Bones vases and bowls are created by grinding bones to a powder, and then using an innovative mortar machine to create the resulting material.
Steinarsdóttir has likened this process to that of MDF creation, which involves grinding wood into fine dust which is them bound together using wax as well as a resin binder. Valdís creates the glue which is used as a binder to make the vessels by submerging the bones into sour fruit extract. This is then boiled to collect the gelatin.
Initially, when the material is being mixed, it is liquid, which allows it to be molded, quite similar to the molding of ceramics. However, once the mixture has dried and become strong, it can be drilled, sawed, and laser cut it to shape it further.