Fruit pulps and peels are often discarded as waste, yet the pulps and peels have a multitude of uses. That’s where Singapore brand UglyGood come in – turning fruit waste into valuable resources such as natural cleaning products and animal feed for use by wildlife organisations.
UglyGood is a startup that recycles and upcycles organic waste into quality products, with the goal of building a more sustainable economy. Operating in a circular way, UglyGood processes and extracts the components from fruit pulps and peels, so that they can then be used as raw materials for making new products.
Every 1,000 kg of orange peels UglyGood processes provide enough natural cleaners to clean 4,500 m2 of floor, produce healthy supplementary feed for 200 cows and reduce carbon emissions by 220 kg. This is comparable with the environmental impact of 500 showers.
Singapore generates 809,800 tonnes of food waste annually, but only 16 per cent of the food waste is recycled. Every year Singapore generates about 20,000 tonnes of fruit waste which are currently being incinerated.
UglyGood was founded in 2017 by two undergraduates at Singapore Management University (SMU) – Jeremy Lee and Clewyn Puah.
UglyGood say: “The fruit juicing industry is one the most resource inefficient industries where only 50% of the fruit is being utilised while the rest of it are generated as by-products (fruit pulps & peels). However, due to the high-water content of the fruit waste the process is highly inefficient and pollutive for the environment. On the other hand, these waste stream represents a potentially valuable resource which can be processed and extracted to create high value products.”
The first products from UglyGood’s range include a natural bio-based floor cleaner and multi-purpose cleaner made from citrus peel waste. These are specially formulated plant based enzymes which are effective yet greener and safer cleaning alternative for the environment.
The fruit and vegetable pulp byproducts are also processed by UglyGood and used as animal feed by wildlife organisations, including Singapore Zoo. The pulp serves as a healthy and nutritious supplementary food for the wildlife.
UglyGood plan to extend their line of products in the future. The research team is currently researching which high value ingredients can be extracted from the citrus peel waste such as essential oils; cellulose, a raw material used for paper and paint production; pectin, a thickener used for jam; and flavonoid, an antioxidant for drinks and dietary supplements.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. I write about sustainable lifestyle and green living for publications, and I offer content services to planet-friendly businesses. Find out more at Rosamedea.com