The scientists using human hair to clean water

Is recycling the answer to all pollution? A group of scientists and environmentalists have put their heads together and come up with a new way to mop up oil spills.

The hair that is clogging up your shower could be cleaning up the ocean.

A Belgian NGO, Dung Dung, has come up with a way of using old hair-clippings to take pollutants out of water.

They have a machine that turns the hair into squares of matted hair as well as bags.

One kilogram of hair can absorb seven to eight litres of oil. You could put these mats over drains to stop pollution, like oil leaking from cars, from making it into

They can also be used to clean up
spills. If that was not enough, instead of plastic, you could carry your shopping home in hair bags.

These hairy do-gooders are trying to promote something called the “circular economy”. This means that almost everything gets reused and recycled.

The world has a huge waste problem. Clothes pile up by the tonne in Chile’s Atacama desert. Outside Jakarta, Indonesia, there is a mountain of rubbish 200 football pitches wide and 15 storeys high.

Waste causes all kinds of problems, including contributing to global warming. Rotting food produces 8% of global methane emissions.

At the moment, people are working out how to use hair to fertilise crops and even to build houses. One hair strand can support 10 million times its weight.

If nothing, not even old hair, goes to waste, we can clean up our act and the planet.