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If you know anything about agriculture, you probably know that there are invasive plants that confuse farmers’ plans and agricultural production. But now, this type of plant has a much more pleasant and useful role for them.

Invasive plant species could be transformed into plants with a utility for agricultural production, being recycled into organic paper, yarns and dyes, as they discovered research conducted by Atelier Luma, a think tank in Arles, France.

How do you bring the plants to your side?

The research began when the laboratory collaborated with the Parc des Calanques in Marseille. The park uprooted many exotic and invasive plant species as part of an effort to improve biodiversity.

Invasive plant species spread rapidly and can displace native plants, preventing them from growing. This reduces the diversity of plant species and confuses agriculture.

One of these species from Marseilles, called Agave sisalana, is native to southern Mexico.

“We turn agave into different materials: the fiber would be transformed into yarn, and the pulp into different types of glue, paper,” said Axelle Gisserot, project manager at Atelier Luma.

The plants have already been transformed into natural dyes in the laboratory.

“We are working to open a larger dye laboratory in Arles, France, that specializes in natural dyes,” said Gisserot.

It is hoped that it could also serve as a hub for small-scale production.
The laboratory intends to collaborate with several regional parks in order to carry out experiments with uprooted invasive plants.

In addition to the use of invasive plants for the production of dyes, they can also be transformed into textile yarns with application in clothing products.

An organic alternative to textile dyes has also been developed by scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO). They used bio-tech techniques to change the structure of the cotton so that the plant to produce its own color, which is usually white.


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