Biodegradable Cell Phones

By Charlie Nardozzi

Cell phones sprouting sunflowers

The latest recycling challenge involves the bevy of discarded electronic equipment, and one of the biggest culprits are cell phones. As people change phone plans and upgrade the quality and style of their cell phones, more and more of these phones are ending up in landfills.

In looking for a more environmentally friendly way to discard cell phones, researchers at the University of Warwick in England devised not only a phone exterior made from biodegradable plastic, but one that grows flowers as well.

Working in conjunction with the PVAXX Research and Development Company and Motorola, the researchers created a cell phone cover made from a polymer that will decompose in the compost pile. What's more, they also imbedded a flower seed in the case, so once the case breaks down, the seed can germinate and grow. After investigating various flowers, they found that a dwarf sunflower performed the best.

As an added feature, the sunflower seed is visible through a transparent window in the case, but it won't germinate until the cell phone is "planted."

For more information on this research, go to the University of Warwick Web site at:

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