Cows contribute a lot – they generate milk, leather and beef, but they’re also responsible for some not-so-desirable products, such as methane gas pollution.
Methane is created by things like animal waste, oil wells, coal mining and even water treatment plants. While most consider it a dangerous greenhouse gas, the founders of the Bay Area company Mango Materials see methane as opportunity.
The company, founded by three women scientists, is using methane from the Silicon Valley water plant’s tanks in Redwood City and turning it into something useful: a plastic substitute that is able to replace anything normally made of plastic – including fabric similar to polyester that can be used for clothing.
The best part? This plastic substitute is biodegradable, meaning it won’t contribute to plastic pollution.
“We’re unique because we’re using this potent greenhouse gas as a feedstock to make biodegradable materials,” said one of the founders of Mango Materials.