Just Egg boils and peels 1.5m eggs a week and disposes of the shells, which costs £50,000 a year. Photograph: Dan Matthews
Leicester-based egg processing plant Just Egg hard boils and peels 1.5m eggs a week for snacks such as egg mayonnaise and Scotch eggs, creating mountains of shells to dispose of. It’s a dilemma the company’s owner, Pankaj Pancholi, has been keen to crack since he launched the business 14 years ago.
At home, eggshells can easily be composted or sprinkled on flower beds as a slug deterrent or soil enhancer. But for industrial egg producers, shells have to be disposed of in landfill because the waste egg attached to them rots quickly, causing a smelly by-product. It costs Pancholi around £50,000 a year to dispose of them, a significant sum for a company with a turnover of £4.2m last year.
In 2012, Pancholi teamed up with Prof Andy Abbott and scientists at Leicester University to find a cost-effective, sustainable way to recycle the shells.