Friday, August 21, 2009
Recycling is all very well, but many people think it makes more sense to design phones that are less harmful in the first place. Kerry Kirwan, an engineer from the University of Warwick, has been working with plastics manufacturers to come up with a phone cover made of biodegradable plastic - an alternative to the usual plastics that can last hundreds of years in a landfill When buried, the biodegradable plastics break down into natural minerals. This is useless if we forget to plant our phone covers though, so as an incentive Kerry has incorporated a sunflower seed into the cover. When planted, microorganisms in the soil break down the plastic and provide nutrients for the sunflower to grow - giving you a sunflower plant in exchange for your phone. "The great thing about this plastic is that it doesn't biodegrade in a normal working environment - it has to have very special conditions to start the process," says Kerry. "This means that you can use it in everyday life but the minute you pop it in the ground it begins to break down."