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Even though we now know that plastic is not so good for the environment, to say the very least, it’s so prevalent and (I would argue) almost necessary to our way of life, that unless we find a suitable replacement, we may never get rid of the darn thing; enter clay-based hydrogels.

For years, hydrogels have replaced plastic in medical procedures. Yet, due to its “lack of rigidity and durability,” according to PSFK.com, other uses have not been plausible. With the help of the Japanese, however, clay-based hydrogels may be the answer we were looking for.