Via the Christian Science Monitor, which was Trungpa Rinpoche’s model for the original Shambhala Sun magazine:
Almost 40 years ago, American scientists took their first steps in a quest to break the world’s dependence on plastics.
But in those four decades, plastic products have become so cheap and durable that not even the forces of nature seem able to stop them. A soupy expanse of plastic waste – too tough for bacteria to break down – now covers an estimated 1 million square miles of the Pacific Ocean.
Sensing a hazard, researchers started hunting for a substitute for plastic’s main ingredient, petroleum. They wanted something renewable, biodegradable, and abundant enough to be inexpensive.
Though they stumbled upon a great candidate early on, many US chemists had given up on it by the end of the 1990s. The failed wonder material: lignin, the natural compound that lends strength to trees. A waste product from paper production, much of the lignin supply is simply burned as fuel.
But while many scientists turned to other green options, a German company, Tecnaro, says it found the magic formula. Its “liquid wood” can be molded like plastic, yet biodegrades over time.
Now, Tecnaro’s success could…to read the rest, go to the Christian Science Monitor.
hot on elephant
Boomers vs. Millennials: Will We stay the Course or Change It? Instead of Sabotaging another Relationship, here’s how to Run into your Fear. Join: Elephant’s Fall 2016 Academy. When you’re Stuck, Remember to ask yourself this Question. Welcome to September’s Eclipse Season—Anything is Possible. Thank You to the Men who Didn’t Know what they had—When they had Me. How to be Vulnerable in Love (& still Get Laid).