Professor Emeritus Wolfgang Glasser has joined cycleWood Solutions Inc. as its chief scientific officer. The company, whose mission is to produce sustainable alternatives to plastic products, pursued Glasser because of his extensive expertise in natural polymers. His work with various aspects of lignin chemistry, materials, and structure is an important aid in the creation of cycleWood Solutions’ fully compostable household food and garbage bags. Some bags sizes are currently available for purchase; production and selection are expected to increase soon.

The bags are composed of all-natural components and disintegrate into particles less than 2 millimeters in size in 180 days, filling an important market as traditional plastic garbage bags become illegal in many places worldwide.

Lignin is a compound of plant cell walls discarded during the papermaking process. Besides being inexpensive and plentiful, it can replace petroleum to make “green” polymers since it comes from a renewable resource rather than a fossil fuel.

“In addition to viewing it from a resource viewpoint, I realized its environmental benefits,” Glasser remarked of his work with lignin. “It could be compostable. Plastic bags and bottles needn’t last forever.”

Read the full press release.