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Eco watch: from magic air-purifying curtains to flat wine bottles

We're all too often surrounded by negative environmental news; while it's important we're aware of these issues and take action to combat them, it helps to look at the recent positive environmental news and progress every now and again.

In this edition of Eco-watch, we share news of a funky habitat-creating tile made by Volvo, a new biodegradable 'bioplastic' made from lobster shells and a magic Ikea curtain which purifies the air in your home.

Volvo's living seawall 🌊🐚

In collaboration with Sydney's Institute of Marine Science and Reef Design Lab, Volvo have developed a pretty beautiful looking tile which is affixed to seawalls to help sealife. Instead of the standard smooth, featureless seawall surface which has been shown to damage biodiversity, the irregular surface of the Volvo tile creates habitats for sealife such as attracts molluscs and oysters. This has a secondary environmental benefit as these creatures filter out pollutants making the surrounding water cleaner.

Credit: Volvo

UK CO2 emmisions continue to fall 🏭

Recently released statistics show that the UK's greenhouse gases emitted in 2017 fell by 2.7% from 2016, a fall of over 42% from 1990. The fall is largely driven by closure of coal-fired power stations.

'Bioplastics' created from lobster shells 🥤

Shellworks, an Imperial College and Royal College of Art project, announced a machine it developed to create a biodegradable and recyclable material from seafood waste. The material is incredibly versatile can be used to create food-safe carrier bags, self-fertilising plant pots and anti-bacterial blister packaging.

Credit: shellworks

Ikea's magic air purifying curtain 🏡

Look out in your nearest Ikea for a curtain which breaks down common pollutants found in the home. The material is coated with a mineral-based surface which acts in a similar way to photosynthesis, breaking down the compounds when light (natural and artificial) shines through it.

Credit: Ikea

Flat wine bottles reduce emissions ➡️🍾⬅️

A new shaped wine bottle developed by Garçon Wines could cut supply chain emissions and allow the wine to be posted through your letterbox! The recycled PET plastic bottles are flat, meaning they take up to 40% less room and is 87% lighter. Their carton of 10 bottles would hold just 4 normal shaped bottles of the same volume! They calculate that this new design would save half a kilo of CO2 per bottle.

Credit: Garçon Wines

Credit: Garçon Wines


Our last edition of Eco-Watch: raising awareness of disappearing species and a naked store in the U.K.

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