Call it magic or what you will - but New Zealand researchers have performed some feat by converting one kiwifruit into 100 plastic spoons and sewage into electricity.
Scion, a Crown research institute in Rotorua, has developed technology to turn organic materials and waste into compostable bioplastics such as spoons and knifes, called "spifes".
Advertisement"We do a 'reactive transformation' - that sounds pretty magical, doesn't it? We're checking whether we can get a patent," The New Zealand Herald quoted Martin Markotsis as saying.
"If we say too much, we can't patent it," Markotsis added.
A pilot plant will be built by the beginning of next year, turning biosolid waste headed for landfill into industrial chemicals and energy-rich gases such as methane. Heat and gases released by the process will generate electricity to help power the plant.
More than 20 tonnes of sludge pouring into landfill every day will be diverted, saving up to 900,000 dollars a year in costs.
Another innovation at the research centre is the "biopeg", tent pegs that can be left in the ground to eventually decompose into the soil.