In an effort to develop more sustainable toys the Technological Institute of Children's Products and Leisure (AIJU) in Alicante (Spain) has - through the BioMat4Future project - taken an innovative step. Scientists managed to develop natural functional additives that can be used in biomaterials to make sustainable toys from agri-food waste from vegetables. They used carrot leaves, lettuce, broccoli, chard, beets, or citrus extracts, which provide important functionalities such as coloration, antimicrobial capacity, or flame retardancy.
Four companies from the so-called Toy Valley - the toy industry flourished in the city of Alicante at the beginning of the 20th century - have participated in the project and are now testing the research results on their production lines. Agri-food waste is becoming a good substitute for other less sustainable additives.