An initiative begun by Dung Dung, a Belgian non-profit company, has discovered a way to recycle hair collected from hairdressers to preserve the environment. The Hair Recycle Project uses machines to turn locks and braids into matted squares that can be used to absorb oil and other hydrocarbons that harm the environment or be turned into bio-composite bags. They can also be utilised to deal with pollution problems brought on by flooding and clean up oil spills.
According to Project Co-founder Patrick Janssen, 1 kilogramme (2.2 lbs) of hair may absorb 7-8 litres (1.8-2.1 U.S. gallons) of oil and hydrocarbons, making the goods helpful in removing contaminants from water before it reaches rivers. He also mentioned that their products are ethical since they are manufactured locally and not outsourced from other countries.
Can Absorb Fat & Hydrocarbons
The project's website stated that hair possesses strong qualities, including supporting up to 10 million times its weight, absorbing fat and hydrocarbons, and being highly elastic and water-soluble due to its keratin fibres. Isabelle Voulkidis, Manager of the Helyode salon in Brussels and a member of the Hair Recycle Project, called it "a shame". She said that hair is usually discarded in the garbage despite having so many applications, as reported by NDTV.
Most of the world views human hair as garbage, and its accumulation in waste streams leads to numerous environmental issues. Because of its slow disintegration, it takes up a lot of room in landfills and waste streams for a long time. Leachate from these dumps gradually raises the nitrogen levels in the water bodies, leading to eutrophication issues.
A Look At The Numerous Applications Of Hair
Numerous applications have been made possible by the particular characteristics of human hair, including its unique chemical composition, slow rate of deterioration, high tensile strength, thermal insulation, elastic recovery, scaly surface, special interactions with water and oils, and its sociocultural roles. These applications are also influenced by the variety of hair available, which varies in terms of five characteristics: length, colour, straightness or curliness, hair damage, and contamination.
Hair clippings have many applications apart from making wigs. Hair can be used as garden fertiliser since it is rich in nitrogen. Additionally, numerous businesses are experimenting with using hair as a building material. The London-based biomanufacturing startup Biohm uses discarded human hair to create 3D items and substitutes for sheet material made of wood. In certain communities in the USA and Japan, hair has been used to produce ropes for activities like horseback riding.
In many ways, hair is preferable to synthetic materials that are frequently employed to absorb spills. It is free to create, biodegradable, and there is an endless supply of it (hair grows on us at a rate of roughly 1 cm a month). Hair sponges can be used again because it is washable.
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