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Nature offers plenty of scope for innovation. From street-lamps to cooling packaging and micro-hydraulic robots.

Taking inspiration from one of the strongest materials in the world – spider’s silk – a team of scientists from the University of Cambridge has developed a new alternative to single-use plastics.

First came protein research to ascertain what made the spider’s silk so strong. Next the team replicated the silk’s molecular structure with plant protein from soya.

This was then mixed with water and acetic acid and treated with ultrasonication and heat. The result?

A vegan film which can be adapted to take on hydrophobic properties. It’s biodegradable too.

The product should appear on the market during the course of this year.

A natural role model.

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