Sustrato (Material Research)
In Mexico, the national waste management program classifies organic residues as "non-reusable" which leads to a lack of incentive for big industries to manage their organic matter.

Sustrato transforms agroindustrial local waste into biomaterials. Through collaborative analysis, research and experimentation, this project applies local knowledge in a contemporary way to explore new possible sustainable markets in the region.

The project is focused on the pineapple industry waste at Ciudad Isla, Veracruz, the main pineapple production area in Mexico with more than 3,000 producers. Even though it takes almost a year to grow a pineapple and only one piece of fruit can grow from each plant, in this industry, the fruit is the only monetary product for the producers. Furthermore, pineapple leaves, which represent approximately 80% of the growing material, are commonly thrown away reaching up to 1 tonne per day in each company.

Thus, through research, extraction and transformation processes Andrea developed four biomaterials made out of the discarded leaves: ropes, bioplastic, felt and an agglomerated material. These can be not only a waste management solution for the local producers but also the possibility to generate new ways of income from their waste and more job opportunities for the community.