Sergiy Barchuk for TIME
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It’s bad enough that an estimated 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced globally each year, and little of it is recycled. Worse, much of that rubbish contains per- and polyfluoro-alkyl substances (PFAS), which are linked to a range of harmful health effects and informally known as “forever chemicals” because that’s pretty much how long they stick around. Zume, a manufacturer of food containers and other products, and Solenis, an industrial chemicals producer, partnered to do something. In April they launched a biodegradable PFAS-free packaging line—that includes cups, bowls, and egg cartons—made principally from plant fibers that would ordinarily be discarded as agricultural waste.

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