Inspirational appetizers on unusual startups, emerging trends and bleeding-edge research

HomeTagsRecycling

Tag: Recycling

Clever on paper

Farm stubble, sawdust, and corn flakes are valuable resources for packaging material. Now, a Ukrainian startup is turning to nature’s other gifts to help lower CO2 emissions. Why fell 17 trees to make a ton of paper when you could use 2.3 tons of fallen leaves instead? After being collected from parks, sidewalks and residential developments, the leaves are...

Energetic extract

Wine and shrimps are an ideal combination, particular in connection with chitin. These carbohydrates from crustacean shells aren’t just suitable for conserving foods; their potential is vast. Now, a research team from Maryland University has developed an electrolyte gel with chitosan - a bio-polymer extracted from chitin - for use in zinc batteries. In tests, their new battery showed...

Incremental development

New beaches are being made from old glass bottles, while egg shells morph into tiles for home. Now an LA startup is using recycled plastic to create houses with up to 80㎡ of living space. Polymers, 60% of which come from plastic bottles and food packaging, are processed to form a mass which is 3D-printed into a simple shape....

Natural spin

Willow- and banana plant fibres are already making their way in the fashion industry. Now, a Dutch startup is using some of the 72 million kilograms of human hair waste produced in the EU each year to make textiles. First, hair collected from salons is sorted and washed. Next it’s spun into yarn on traditional spinning wheels from which...

Realised reduction

Biodegradable jeans decompose fully within 6 months. And now, two parents from Oregon have developed baby shoes that dissolve in boiling water. Like these founders before them, their startup aims to reduce textile waste. The soft shoes are suitable for babies up to 1 year old, and are made from silk fabric coated with biodegradable plastic. Sturdy and machine-washable...

Clear intentions

Plastic for building blocks, coffee grounds for football strips, and chopsticks for furniture. Now a New Orleans startup is recycling glass and converting it to shingles and sand. Glass bottles are dropped off by volunteers or collected by the team against a fee, before being broken up and ground. Perfect for new glass products such as tiles or jewellery....

Profitable reduction

Banana leaves protect potatoes and sponges made from pollen absorb oil. Now, an Indian startup founded by siblings is making compostable packaging from farm stubble. Their newly developed technology splits the stubble into different fibres. Making cellulose that can be used to produce paper and particle board as well as lignin, which serves as a binding agent. Any resulting...

Cool yield

Soon we could be flying electrically. Yet, with the use of electronics increasing, the need for precious metals is also on the rise. This approach could be helpful, but environmentally-friendly recycling is equally important. An American startup is using cold gases with free electrons, so-called low-temperature plasmas, to recover the desired materials from used lithium-ion batteries. Because lithium is...

Stay connected

Get a head start with the weekly newsletter

Sign up for your weekly inspiration sent directly to your inbox each friday. Providing you with positive news on innovation. Get a fresh perspective, sparking ideas and preparing you for warm-hearted conversations.

Editor's Picks