Plastic Fantastic: Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Wooden Plastic

For all of the good things that plastics have done for us, it is hard to ignore the fact that they are truly terrible for the planet. The problem is that it isn’t easy to find another material that can do everything plastic can do for the same low cost.

Enter Arboform: a material created by German company Tecnaro that is made from the waste materials created by the paper industry. Even though it’s made from waste, Arboform is durable like plastic but without the use of petroleum products.

The material is made from the leftover fibers, or lingin, that remain at the end of the paper-making process. The waste is mixed with natural resins and the liquid mixture is injected into molds. Using this method, it’s possible to create detailed and precise shapes that rival plastic in every way.

The biodegradable, eco-friendly, inexpensive material could change the way we think about materials production. The wood-based material can be used to make just about anything that plastics can be used for – and unlike some plastics, it’s entirely recyclable.

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See more in New Materials or under Science. December, 2010.