NaturLoop, a Swiss company, has been developing products using biocomposites made from agricultural byproducts and natural adhesives.
Its first innovation, Cocoboard® is made from coconut husk fibres and tannin extracts. It is suitable for furniture and interior architecture alike.
In preparing the raw material for Cocoboard®, coconut fibre, or “coir”, is extracted from the husk of the coconut fruit. The coconut fibre is processed and combined with a bio-based adhesive, a specific formulation by NaturLoop. The concept is rather timely, as there are about 21 million tonnes of unused coconut husks in farms globally, wasting their potential value. Coincidentally, the coconut farmers are also said to be the poorest workers in the agricultural sector.
By working directly with a local supply chain team in the Philippines, NaturLoop ensures the integration of local farming communities in the value chain by involving them in the collection and transportation of the husks. This in turn, provides the farmers additional income streams to improve their welfare and livelihood. Conversely, the social impact is not limited to the Philippines, as there are plans of sourcing coconut fibres in other regions such as India and Africa.
Aside from its social impact, the product proves to be sustainable through the upcycling of husks, and utilisation of resources that are readily available. The use of natural adhesives ensures low environmental footprint, and non-toxic emissions.
The panels are fully biodegradable and boast superior mechanical properties. They are also termite and moisture resistant. What’s more, the appearance of the coconut fibres gives Cocoboard® a distinct aesthetic. The panels are available in different thicknesses (6-30mm), and various finishes (raw, lacquered, and oiled), rendering its versatility.
The young company was incorporated in August 2020, and has since gathered several awards on account of its sustainable impact. The company is currently working on producing industrial sized panels for sales in the coming months. Watch this space.