21_Zelfo

Biodegradable plastic substitute

Biodegradable. Virtually unbreakable. Acoustic. Translucent. And cheap. It's Zelfo, a material produced from plants high in cellulose: hemp, straw, agricultural waste, even paper. Fibers are extracted, blended with water, compressed, then spray-molded--without glue or resin. Martin Ernegg, a materials scientist from Austria, patented Zelfo in 2000. After some false starts, he's opening his first factory in Australia by spring. Manufacturing is virtually waste-free. The machines are powered by sun, wind, or vegetable oil.

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