Plastic that looks like wood A few inventive companies have developed a new generation of bioplastics made from flax, hemp, lignin, egg white, resin, corn and sawdust, and the potential market for such materials is enormous. Already, since the second half of the 19th century, manufactures furniture and materials made from paper mache. It is all the more incomprehensible that a priori negative towards composite materials naturally put so much time away in Europe, while in the USA and Japan, the term "compounds" (composites) to discuss these bio-plastics is widely accepted long ago. The companies concerned for their image, biodegradable materials. The specific attributes of this type of bio-plastics are its low specific weight, its static strength and optimal acoustics, better resilience and the fact it is waterproof. Its production is highly profitable, and its treatment because it causes less wear on machines like that of fiberglass. In addition, technicians are less skeptical than with pure bio-plastic (without the addition of synthetic polymers). However, they are not recyclable and must be disposed of by burning, such as fiber glass. The automotive industry is the largest consumer of natural fibers in Europe. In 2005, the European Order of removal of older vehicles will come into force. Already today, the combined use of raw natural fiber reinforced became current in the equipment inside the cars. Most products are organic assemblies with fiber non-woven linen, hot pressed, mixed with synthetic resin and polypropylene molded into the desired shape. Currently, the automotive industry is looking for suitable materials to process that pressing. Thus, a project in development at BMW is to produce injection molding parts interior and exterior of cars based on renewable raw materials. The potential market for natural fiber reinforced plastics for injection molding is enormous. There is already discussion, for example, a wheel made of wood fiber added to polypropylene. The Austrian company "Josko" produces not only the skins of context, profiles of wall and ceiling "Fasalex" a granulated completely biodegradable, but already more than 100 clarinetists play music with enthusiasm on instruments in sawdust , natural resin and corn. Their fellow musicians will soon play on the congas, acoustic guitar, djembe and batteries composed of a composite material made from cellulose, hemp, flax and paper waste produced by businesses "Zellform" and "Stone", which mold instrument bodies by injecting "Zelfo. It is already in the trade Didgeridoos composed of water, natural pigments and sawdust hemp. In the furniture sector, few development efforts have been made. For example, English students of the School of Design in Kensington have decided to develop a composite cellulose for the interior. Lignin, a byproduct of the paper industry, is usually burned - much to the regret of the scientists of the Institute of Chemical Technology of Fraunhofer, since it could transform thermoplastic. The company "TECNARO" in Eisenach, understood and has also developed a composite made of hemp, flax fiber and lignin (natural polymer). "Arboform" is the name of this plastic that resembles wood, has a great potential in the toy market. The first products in mellow wood, non toxic, already enchanted toddlers. Currently, the company "Pro Polytech, in Bavaria, is developing a material called" Fasal-Prosin. A fiber-based wood and natural egg white, it surprised by its ease of machining, high flexibility and low price of 2.50 euros (about 3.70 sFr.) Kilo. This makes it quite competitive with traditional plastics such as polycarbonate or ABS synthetic furniture, famous in the 70s. "Technopal", a polypropylene pellets supplemented with 90% long fiber wood, reaches the material qualities of plastic reinforced fiberglass, it is up to four times recyclable and can be treated with an injection temperature reduced as traditional plastics. The question remains: why this range of materials so rich and renewable Has not yet found access in our commercial world characterized by the use of traditional plastic? The enormous quantities of waste we produce, estimated at 80 million tons of polyethylene and polypropylene per year, and consumption of limited oil resources, have unpredictable ecological consequences for future generations.