International Biodiversity Day At AUB (IBDAA), April 12, named the JTB Bank IBDAA, is now in its thirteenth year of offering innovative takes on education, developed over the past decade in cooperation with the Nature Conservation Center (AUB-NCC). This year’s theme was Rethinking Plastic. The FAFS team of Francis Khoury, Sami Fadel and Mohamad El Chaar won second prize in the business category for their startup concept “Plastig": a manufacturing company to produce 100% biodegradable, starch-based plastics.
This year, 352 students from six universities (AUB, Lebanese American University (LAU), Notre Dame University–Louaize (NDU), the Lebanese University, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, and the University of Saint Joseph), presented 125 projects in five categories. Nineteen agribusiness students comprised six teams from FAFS and presented their agrifood sector business ideas, proposing solutions to profitably address plastic-related environmental problems.
Other FAFS projects included: mulch and agricultural coverings from discarded plastics; pet food nutritional supplements; bio-plastics from algae; a green workshop to teach children to plant seeds in a fun way; potable water pouches from bio-degradable and eco-friendly material (can be discarded or consumed along with the beverage); and a hydroponic system that allows household production of fruits or vegetables. The agribusiness students were members of the Agribusiness Final Year Project (course AGBU 292) under the guidance of Drs. Gumataw Abebe and Makram Bou Nassar.