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Solar Panels Made from Cotton and Castor Beans

Adele Peters

Even though solar panels are a sustainable source of energy, the panels themselves aren't really that great for the environment—they're made with toxic materials like cadmium, take a lot of energy to produce, and can't easily be recycled. This new panel, made from cotton and bean-based plastic instead of oil-based plastic, is a little better. But though the article in the link calls it 'nontoxic,' it's not quite there yet: the solar cells themselves have the worst materials, not the plastic.

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