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A helmet made of upcycled shell waste

Japanese company Koushi Chemical Industry, in collaboration with the village of Sarufutsu, developed a helmet made with discarded shell from the food industry.

Shellfish use their shells to protect themselves against enemies. Scallops are the shellfish that Japanese people eat the most, and consequently, these shells are what are discarded the most.

Using the discarded scallop shells, Koushi Chemical Industry designed a hard hat as protective head gear for the fishing community in Sarufutsu village, where around 40,000 tons of scallop shells go to waste every year. The shells are first washed and sterilised, pulverised and turned into pellets by mixing it with recycled plastic. The pellets are then poured into moulds and formed into shape.

The structure of the helmet, called Shellmet, was also inspired by shells. The ribbed structure increases the helmet’s strength by 30 per cent.

The helmet can be preordered and is available in five colours. However, safety standard certification is still in the works.

Photos: Koushi Chemical Industry

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