British scientists at the University of Warwick have designed a biodegradable cell phone casing that degrades in soil after being discarded. A seed, imbedded in the special polymer, germinates as the phone breaks down.
Million of cell phones are discarded each year as manufacturers introduce new models; the novel concept is meant to help consumers do something positive for the environment. The seed — a sunflower seed in the prototype — is implanted in a small transparent window in the phone. The researchers expect the covers to hit the commercial market next year, but can’t say how much the items will cost.