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Biodegradable

OATS Shoes is launching a line of fully compostable sneakers

People may joke about their dirty old sneakers turning into science projects or mini ecosystems, but once OAT Shoes' compostable sneakers become commercially available within the next several weeks ... let's just say, those same people may no longer be joking when they make those kind of statements. Made using hemp, cork, bio-cotton, certified biodegradable plastics, chlorine-free bleach and other nontoxic materials, the shoes are designed to completely break down when buried in the ground – the first batch will even come with seeds in their tongues, so that wildflowers will sprout up in commemoration of users' planted, expired kicks.  Read More

Fujitsu has announced the world's first biodegradable computer, made from organic plastic ...

Last year, Fujitsu introduced a keyboard where nearly half of the plastic normally used was replaced with biodegradable bio- or wood-based substitutes. The company continues its green crusade this year with the introduction of what's claimed to be the world's first biodegradable computer mouse. The M440 ECO optical mouse sports a PVC-free USB cable and is made from a combination of the same Arboform and Biograde materials used in the keyboard – reducing our dependence on oil-based resources one click at a time..  Read More

Scientists from the University of Amsterdam have developed a range of new thermoset resins...

Scientists from the University of Amsterdam have developed a process for making fully biodegradable, non-toxic and non-hazardous thermoset resins from readily available, low-cost plant materials. This new range of plastics could be used for panels such as MDF in the construction industry and replace polyurethane and polystyrene packaging ... all without increasing cost or production times.  Read More

Vanessa trialled the concertina-style tent at UK festival, T In The Park (Credit: Ross Cai...

We've all seen the photos – the absolute devastation at the end of a festival after the revelers have gone home. A number of organizations are turning this waste into green industry including Vanessa Harden and friends at Do The Green Thing who have designed a biodegradable tent that will decompose post-party and replenish the soil in the process.  Read More

Scientists are working to make tougher biodegradable plastics from plants (Image: Horia Va...

Replacing petro-chemical-based plastics with plant-based alternatives is a growing area of research. One popular form of plant-derived plastic is Poly(lactic) acid, or PLA, a type of biodegradable plastic that is currently used to make bottles, bags and is woven into fibers to make clothes in place of polyester. Although PLA has similar mechanical properties to PETE polymer, it has significantly lower heat-resistance, which limits its uses. Researchers are now developing a new chemical catalyst to improve the properties of PLA, making it stronger and more heat-resistant so it can be used for a wider range of applications.  Read More

The PATCH paper watch comes in a range of colors

Altanus, a Geneva-based watchmaker better known for its luxury timepieces made from materials such as steel and gold has turned to a slightly less traditional material for its PATCH watch – paper. Described by the company as having zero environmental impact, the PATCH was inspired by the papier- mâché floats of Italy’s Viareggio Carnival and is made from biodegradable paper in a range of eye-catching colors and designs.  Read More

A scanning electron microscope image of the milk and clay-based biodegradable foam

It’s always a bummer when you take something like a computer or TV out of its box, and realize that all that Styrofoam is just going to end up in the landfill. Although it can be recycled, due to transport costs and lack of market demand, most cities don’t do so. There’s also the fact that it’s made from petroleum – so it's a long way from being sustainable. Fortunately, though, an international team of scientists has recently developed a biodegradable foam. It’s made from clay and casein, which is a naturally-occurring protein in cow’s milk.  Read More

Afterheels are a welcome antidote to the agony of post-evening heel trauma

Girls rejoice! Salvation has arrived in the form of biodegradable ballet flats dispensed from venue vending machines as an antidote to the agony of wearing heels on a Big Night Out. As we breathe a collective sigh of relief, we ask “Why did no one think of this before?”  Read More

Pellets of Solegear's 100 percent natural, non-toxic, biodegradable Polysole plastic

The 2010 North American Frost and Sullivan Award* for New Product Innovation of the Year has been awarded to Canadian company Solegear, for its 100 percent biobased Polysole plastic. According to Solegear, although many of today’s biopolymers come from a natural feedstock, they are compounded using synthetic additives. Polysole, however, utilizes proprietary additives that are entirely natural and organic. The non-toxic plastic is claimed to have high impact and tensile strength, and can be efficiently processed using conventional techniques such as extrusion, blow molding and injection molding. Its biodegradation point can also reportedly be tweaked, so it can maintain its molecular integrity until product-specific compost conditions are met.  Read More

Dissolving microneedle vaccines: cheaper, less painful, less dangerous and more effective ...

Doctors have been using hypodermic needles for more than 150 years – but syringe vaccinations could be just about to be replaced by a simple patch you can stick on your arm with no medical supervision. The microneedle patches have an array of microscopic needles on them that penetrate the skin just deep enough to dissolve and deliver a vaccine without causing any pain. There's no sharp hazardous waste left over, they're no more expensive than a syringe, and most importantly, tests on mice are showing that microneedle vaccinations are significantly longer-lasting than deeper injections delivered by syringe.  Read More

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