(Responding to Robert Hall’s question).

I worked on the fringes of industrial cellulose production for a number of years. The raw material is wood pulp. The processes for producing the pulp and then converting the pulp are energy intensive and use various chemicals in the dissolving and re-constitution of the timber and the pulp. It also involves the cultivation of mono-species forests. All environmentally damaging.

In one pulp milll where I worked in the 1970s, the solid waste was composted with chicken manure to produce a saleable fertilizer. Other than that, there is not, in my limited experience, much opportunity for recycling of the waste products of the manufacturing processes involved.

Production of this new form of cellulose is, apparently, an entirely natural process the only by-product of which is a healthy drink (in fact, the cellulose is a by-product of producing the drink). The material is both edible and compostible. I don’t think you can say that about cellophane.

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Frank is a retired Engineer from England now living in Ireland. He is trying to learn and share the lessons of history.

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