Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Building materials made with used green tea leaves

In the home, the Japanese have traditionally re-used old tea leaves by first drying them out and putting them in the refrigerator or on a shoe rack as an odor absorbent. Others use old tea leaves as natural fertilizer for potted plants or in the garden.

Japan's big beverage firms, however, generate a staggering 30,000 metric tons of the stuff every year. As with all waste, this is expensive to dispose of. One firm, Itoen, recently developed the technology for using old tea leaves in building boards and panels. Tatami mats made with these panels are advertised for their resistance to common household odors thanks to the odor-resistant properties of green-tea polyphenols.

(The original Japanese article in "Ecology Sympony" is here. Or you can read the Google translation here.)

P.S. Apologies for disappearing posts and other technical problems with the blog in the last couple of days. seems to have worked out the bugs that were causing the trouble.

—Mellow Monk

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