Created by a trio of students at London’s Royal College of Art, the Paper Pulp Helmet is designed to be a low-cost recyclable bike helmet for the London Bike Hire Scheme. Costing less than £1 each to produce, the helmets are made from the free daily newspapers that are discarded throughout the city.
Waste newspapers are blended together to create a paper pulp, which is moulded to create the basic helmet shape. The only additives to the mixture are an organic binding and waterproofing agent, as well as natural pigments that denote different helmet sizes.
In dry weather, the helmets can be reused for up to a week, and last up to six hours in heavy rain. After use, the helmets can be recycled or re-pulped to make new helmets, with no degradation to the original material. Currently investigating how the helmets could be manufactured on an industrial scale, the team hopes to reach European safety standards and launch them officially by Spring 2014.
For other highlights of this year’s graduate shows, see Stylus round-up 2013 Graduate Picks. For more innovations in recycling, see Stylus industry trend Design Democracy: Slow.