Surprising Products Made With Green Chemistry

Green chemistry is all around us. You may use it every day without even realizing it.

First up: What is Green Chemistry?


Green chemistry and engineering is the design and manufacturing of products that reduces or eliminates the use of hazardous substances.

There are four major benefits: reduction of waste, safer products, reduced use of energy and resources, and improved competitiveness of chemical manufacturers and their customers.

1. Ibuprofen

The process for making ibuprofen was reduced to three steps, helping reduce the waste and byproducts genereated in the old process.

2. Packing Peanuts

Cellulose packing peanuts are biodegradable, as compared to traditional styrofoam packing peanuts.

3. Nike’s Tennis Shoe Rubber

Nike redesigned its rubber to reduce the majority of the toxic chemicals previously found, resulting in 96 percent fewer toxins.

4. Certain Kinds of Paint

No VOC paints contribute less to indoor and outdoor air pollution than traditional paint.

6. Some Adhesives

There’s a special kind of pressure sensitive adhesive that can be made without a solvent, which also makes it biodegradable. The adhesive can be used on masking tape, electrical tape, surgical tape and more.

7. Certain Insecticides such as Spinosad

This is derived naturally and has a low environmental impact.

9. Plastics made from Corn or Soybeans

This plastic has been used in diapers, water bottles, pillows, lawn and leaf bags, smart phone cases, plastic cutlery, clothing, pens, and more.

Find out more about green chemistry and engineering at the Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair.

August 22 - September 2, 2013.

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