Researchers at the University of Tokyo have found a way to waterproof paper with biodegradable materials that also destroy bacteria. The silica-resin coating can turn paper products, like single-use straws or forks, into viable alternatives to plastic by making them waterproof and durable. "Paper cutlery may be the most straightforward application," said Dr. Zenji Hiroi, professor in solid state chemistry and co-author on the study. "We have already created some prototypes in collaboration with industry. The paper package can be reinforced and used even in the rain. Agricultural mulch for weed control can be made from coated paper and degrade in nature without harming the environment. Any paper product will gain more application options." Should Choetsu prove scalable, it can be applied to ceramic, glass, and even plastic, he said.

Read Full Story