Grass Not Only For Elephants
In the Netherlands around 35,000 hectares of unused building land is available for development. New development may not go ahead, but neither is the land suitable for crop cultivation. However, the land is ideal for growing elephant grass, which thrives on poor soils and needs no fertiliser. The Dutch company NNRGY Crops wants to replace raw materials that damage our environment by home-grown bio based substitutes.
Elephant grass is a suitable material for 3D printable concrete, bioplastic and paper. It grows quickly and absorbs lots of CO2. To some extent this can compensate for the loss of tropical forest.
Award winner NNRGY Crops has been planting the grass at various sites and is encouraging local authorities and companies to participate. The company is seeking out suitable partners for each project and wants to put the crop to local use as much as possible.
The Dutch with their character and attitude of reinvention have undertaken to achieve a 100% circular economy by 2050. We see it as crucial for economic growth, but moreover that it improves the well-being of society as a whole. Netherlands intends to become a living lab, generating and disseminating information on the transformation into a future-proof world. The Netherlands has launched the Holland Circular Hotspot (HCH) so that we can leave behind a liveable earth for future generations.