Human Hair Recycled To Protect The Environment

Hair clipped from customers is collected by Belgian hairdressers and donated to an NGO for recycling.

Hair recycle process feeds locks and tresses into a machine which converts them into tiny squares of material that can absorb oil and other pollutants in the environment.

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According to Patrick Janssen, the mats could be placed in drains to soak up oil and hydrocarbons before they enter rivers, explaining that 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of hair can absorb 7-8 litres (1.8-2.1 U.S. gallons).

The project says that hair can do remarkable things, like support up to 10 million times its weight, absorb fat and oil, and it’s highly water-soluble.

Helyode salon manager Isabelle Voulkidis pays a small fee to the project for collecting hair cuttings from dozens of hairdressers across the country.

She remarked as she clucked around with a customer’s locks: It grieves me to think that hair nowadays just gets thrown in the garbage. So many things can be done with it, I feel, such as creating lace and swan neckpieces.

Jean Harris

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