Sergiy Barchuk for TIME
November 10, 2022 6:18 AM EST

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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Write to Jeffrey Kluger at jeffrey.kluger@time.com.

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