By Sarah Schwager
Olive Oil Times Contributor | Reporting from Buenos Aires
A Spanish company has taken the old Asian traditions of using charcoal as a natural absorbent, and of filling pillows with seeds or plastic spheres, and added a Mediterranean flavor to it. Charcolive has launched a range of pillows stuffed with carbonized olive pits recycled from olive oil producers.
Charcolive CEO Rafael Pérez told Olive Oil Times the idea came to him on one of his trips to Japan, where he tested various types of pillows filled with natural products such as seeds and lentils. “There they use carbonized plants for many aspects of their daily lives, above all to eliminate odors,” he said, adding “they also use pillows made of Holm Oak coals but frankly they are uncomfortable because the coals have edges. It occurred to me that if the charcoal was round, the pillows would be much more comfortable.”
And so Mr Pérez came up with the idea of using a carbonized product to stuff pillows, but one that was round, such as the olive pit, which holds its own health benefits. The natural particles and charcoal help with breathing and air circulation while contouring to the head and neck as the pits massage and activate more than 40 acupuncture points, the product literature maintains.
The four lines of products – sleep products; odor absorption and fruit and vegetable preserving products; chemical intolerance products; and products for pets – also recycle the vast quantity of olive pits discarded by the massive Spanish olive oil industry.
Each pillow is filled with nearly two kilograms of carbonized olive pits. They are then covered by two layers of sheep’s wool and cotton to cushion the stones.
The manufacturer claims the pillows reduce perspiration, generate negative ions and induce relaxation. The products also come in the form of small breathable bags said to eliminate odors in shoes, the refrigerator, and tobacco smells.
Some 4 million tons of olive pits are generated in Spain each year. Recycled olive
pits, or olive stones, are also used in compost and biofuel.