In a series of articles about crafting with food waste – including leftovers from the meat and fruit and veg industries – we look at how eggshell can be transformed into desirable, recycled materials and products.
Over a trillion eggs are laid every year by 6.4 billion hens, Basse Stittgen points out. His project How do you like your eggs? is a series of egg cups made of discarded eggs – the albumin protein within the shells binds when heated up to 200 °C and put under 5 tonnes of pressure, the same method he used with blood (see page 29). ‘The material is actually stronger than the one from blood and you can see traces of what it’s made from, which is nice. I like the idea of using the waste from the egg to make an egg cup, from which you then consume the egg.’
The chicken-rearing industry is not problem-free, he observes, but he sees potential in the mountains of shells it generates. ‘I’ve been reading papers that say they have found a way to pulverise the egg into particles that are so small they can be added to certain types of polymers to strengthen its structure.’