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Slideshow: Green Materials Expand Design Reach

There are more green, sustainable materials in use now than ever before, and if some manufacturers have their way, there will be even more of them in the future.

Green, sustainable materials -- some made out of shrimp shells, silk, and plant trash -- are being used for consumer packaging, shipping, and plastic bag replacements.

In fact, those are the largest applications for bioplastics, which are usually created in a process chain from ethanol to polymer that closely parallels the process for creating their petrochemical equivalents. Today durable-grade bioplastics are blended with petro-based plastics and incorporated into PCs. Engineering-grade bioplastics are being used in extreme, under-hood automotive applications.

Click the image below to start a slideshow highlighting the innovative ways green materials are being used:

Recycled plastic bottles and other waste plastic destined for landfills can be transformed into weight-bearing structural materials for heavy-load bridges, such as this one in Scotland,
shown supporting heavy equipment during its construction.
(Source: Axion International)

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