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Packaging the Future: Fluffy Natural Packaging!
The tropical Kapok tree yields a material that is very lightweight, water-resistant and buoyant. Like milkweed, its fiber is used by the plant for seed protection and dispersal. Produced by the Ceiba pentandra tree in the Caribbean, South America and Africa in fairly high volume, it can provide a decent income to the people who live near the tree and collect the fibers, as it does require a high degree of hand-processing. As the tree often grows in places where people need jobs and don’t necessarily have other options or technology, this can be an ideal material for a collective to harvest. People use it as a filling for stuffed animals and as an allergen-free pillow stuffing. The fiber is mold and dust-mite resistant and and has a silky texture, but it looks like cotton. Although it’s not strong enough to be spun into yarn, other uses outside of filler are being looked into.
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