Plastics have long been seen as a major detriment to the environment. But research is progressing fast. Inspired by nature, the German company Tecnaro has developed a new plastic material that is just as environmentally friendly as it is revolutionary in its design.
Students and professors at Stuttgart University’s ITKE Institute decided to test the new plastic material called ArboSkin and build, to say the least, a rather spectacular pavilion on the college campus. ArboSkin is a bioplastic made of 90 per cent recycled material. As with all bioplastics, it also consists of natural starch and cellulose. What makes ArboSkin special is that is also contains lignin, a substance found in the cell walls of plants. Lignin gives wood its mechanical strength.
The new material thus combines the strength of wood while at the same time being mouldable as plastic. According to the team behind the pavilion in Stuttgart, the so-called thermoformable plastic will become the construction material of the future.