If you’ve used a paper straw, you know the disappointment of trying to sip a refreshing beverage through a soggy, slowly collapsing tube.
But what if there was a wood-based plastic alternative? Turns out, there is — transparent wood.
This futuristic material is flexible, moldable, and see-through, just like traditional petroleum plastics.
Transparent wood was was originally developed in the early 1990s as a way to study a plant’s xylem and phloem (roughly equivalent to our veins and arteries) intact without destroying the specimen.
Despite its promise, transparent wood isn’t currently made outside of the lab. The technology is still in the research and development stage.