This recyclable paper bike helmet just won a prestigious design award
A new invention, called the EcoHelmet, may offer a solution. Made of paper, the device is collapsible, and is designed with bike share programs in mind.
The UK-based award comes with a £30,000 prize ($31,800), which Shiffer plans to use to produce more of the helmets.
A 28-year-old New Yorker, Shiffer told the BBC that she realized a paper helmet would be "a tough sell," since the material doesn't seem strong enough to protect you in an accident. But the EcoHelmet has a radial honeycomb design similar to that of foldable decorations, which Shiffer says makes it as solid as a traditional polycarbonate plastic helmet. So far, she told CNN , it's been reliable at absorbing impact in the tests she's done so far.
The helmet also has a biodegradable coating that makes it resistant to light rain for up to three hours, and it's recyclable, so used helmets could potentially be turned into new ones.
Shiffer has said she hopes to conduct more research to make the EcoHelmet stronger, more more water-resistant, and ready for mass production. There's no timeline yet, however, on when and where the EcoHelmet will be available.
Here's a video that shows how it works: