Today’s Solutions: December 03, 2022

As it’s non-biodegradable and a pain to recycle, Styrofoam packaging is one of the most pernicious types of plastic pollution. But thanks to an eco-friendly alternative developed by a group of scientists from Germany, it may not be long until the outdated plastic material becomes a thing of the past.

Developed by researchers at the Dresden University of Technology, the Styrofoam replacement involves first converting shredded paper waste into a slurry and then using a special process to dry slabs of that slurry into mats of a cellulose-fiber material.

According to the scientists, the resulting paper-based material is as effective as its plastic counterpart when it comes to thermal insulation — which is one of the crucial properties that made Styrofoam so popular.

But, unlike Styrofoam, the novel material is both 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable. Even better, instead of requiring fossil fuel-based raw materials, its production process uses waste that might otherwise be landfill or burned.

It’s worth noting though that the mats are coated with a waterproof plastic film which has to be separated at the recycling facility. But the manufacturers are now working on more sustainable alternatives, such as a cellulose-based external barrier that could be directly applied to the material.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

5 ways to be a better listener in your relationship

In your relationship, you and your partner each come in with your own unique set of values, beliefs, and points of view. You both ...

Read More

Indigenous people in Brazil win historic lawsuit after 24 years in court

During the 1980s, the Ashaninka tribe of Brazil had seen large swaths of its land being devastated by deforestation at the hands of lumber ...

Read More

Why the breakfast omelet is the perfect bedtime snack

If you’re one of those people who enjoy having breakfast for dinner, we have good news for you. According to nutrition specialist Uma Naidoo, ...

Read More

These four small habits reduce the risk of stroke

Our small daily actions all contribute to our long-term health, especially when it comes to strokes. 80 percent of strokes are preventable, so lifestyle ...

Read More