Flashback to the 1960s when plastics were the future and companies proudly advertised “Better living through chemistry.” It was obviously a different time with different understandings and attitudes towards petrochemicals.
While biodegradable plastics derived from renewable sources are nothing new, affordable degradable bioplastics that can equal the performance of petroleum plastics, are far and few between. Now, all that seems set to change.
"The internet is the only comparable network in existence," says Bartosz Grzybowski from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. He is talking about Chematica – a computer network mapping millions of molecules and reactions in the known chemical universe.
Ocean waste is a serious problem for companies emotionally and physically connected to the sea, said the founder of outdoor clothing company Finisterre in a recent Guardian debate, but that connection also gives them a strong incentive to find solutions. Here we profile some of the companies doing just that.
When I arrived at Hairprint headquarters in Sausalito a year ago, I was greeted by author and environmentalist Paul Hawken, and Philippa Shenandoah, a hair stylist I’d worked with on photo shoots. Hawken stared at my head: your hair is colored? “Yes, highlighted,” I said. “Is it a problem?”
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