Johan Visser is a teacher at Hanzehogeschool Groningen and founder of Bio-waste Matters Groningen.

What do you do?

’We develop bioplastics that can adhere to plant material. It is compostable and has similar properties to PET bottles. I also work on projects where we convert waste streams into combustible gases.’

How did this project originate?

’I saw that very little was being done with biomass. You can make these polyesters entirely from plant cellulose. If you made horticultural greenhouses out of it, you could grow vegetables and fruit all over the surface of the greenhouse. Because it is compostable, it also goes back to nature. It comes full circle and can be reused. The surface of the greenhouse is your growth medium.’

So what do you do on a daily basis?

’Optimisation to increase yields and work on green solvents. In all the reactions I work on, the solvent is water, sometimes with some ethanol. I do literature studies on synthesis and optimisation. I also supervise students during their practical training.’