Tequila waste combined with recycled plastic to make wood substitute

A recycling company in Mexico has combined reusable plastic and tequila waste to create a new building material with grater resistance to be used as framework for benches, tables or chairs.

The Mexican start-up Plastinova is using agave bagasse from the tequila industry to make a wood-like material, also incorporating recycled plastic in it.

Traditionally, when the sap is extracted from plants for commercial use – take sugar canes for example, the clammy residue that is left is called bagasse.

To make the material, the agave bagasse has to be alcohol and sugar free, leaving nothing but fibre that is then dried and ground into a powder to which a chemical agent is added, allowing it to bond with recycled plastic.

The finished product is stronger than wood, claims Plastinova, and it comes in panels that can be cut as needed.

The company is also looking into replacing the agave bagasse with coconut fibre, as initial testing has shown that it could offer even higher strength, but also because agave bagasse is difficult to buy since tequila companies use it to fuel their boilers.

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