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Everyday materials made out of tea waste


A Macau-based company is developing sustainable products made from locally produced bio-waste

Spotted: It is estimated that the world will consume 7.1 billion kilogrammes of tea in 2023, and a Macau-based startup is working to develop sustainable materials for use in the Far East, with a project to turn spent tea leaves and other local bio-waste streams into packaging and other industry items.

Zence Object hopes to take advantage of this abundant bio-waste by turning it into “eco-friendly” materials that can be “seamlessly integrated” into everyday life. In addition to tea waste, Zence’s ‘Chazence’ product range uses bamboo, bellflower, and discarded Chinese herbs. These are transformed into alternatives for conventional plastics, paper, and wood.

Some of the company’s initial products include biodegradable tea paper, formaldehyde-free tea board – which is three times as hard as cement – and tea plastic, which is waterproof, washable, and temperature-resistant. All three products are in the process of patent applications in Hong Kong, China, Japan, and the United States.

Zence Object has recently secured $2.5 million in Seed funding from the AEF Greater Bay Area Fund (AEF GBA) managed by Gobi Partners GBA (Gobi GBA). The funding will be used to establish a research and development centre and an immersive exhibition facility in Hengqin, and to set up a manufacturing line and processing hub.

We are seeing a growing number of products manufactured from bio-waste. These include recent innovations made from bio-waste, such as footwear, green hydrogen, and even construction materials.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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