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Pedaling to protect the planet: New bike made out of recycled paper and plastics

Why it matters to you

The makers of a new bicycle are doing their part to protect the planet by using recycled plastics and paper to construct it.

Environmentally friendly products have been growing in popularity as more companies try to do their part to protect our planet’s health. One significant issue is the overabundance of plastics and other waste materials that won’t break down naturally. Why not just recycle the material into something more useful?

Entrepreneur Alberto Gonzalez has developed the Urban GC1, the first bike to be made almost entirely of recycled paper and plastics. Riding a bike made mostly of kraft paper sounds scary, but this waterproof bicycle is more sturdy than you would think.

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The Urban GC1 is  made up of paper, metal, rubber, plastic, and polystyrene that has all been recycled. Kraft paper makes up the bulk of the structure, but it’s not as flimsy as it sounds. The paper is pressed and compacted into individual panels that have been built to withstand a great amount of force. By combining hundreds of these panels together and adding a simple coat of recycled polystyrene paint, this paper bike is completely waterproof and ready to handle any commute.

Another added benefit of the bike’s design areis its wheels. With the Urban GC1, getting a flat tire is impossible since the tires do not use air. The wheels use a combination of rubber, recycled plastic, and more paper panels to create the right shape and feel of a standard tire. Vibrations are absorbed into the materials, offering a smooth ride without the need of air.

Beyond the bicycle, even the packaging has been designed to be reusable. To avoid generating trash, each new Urban GC1 comes with instructions to transform the packaging into something useful. Not only do you get the satisfaction of riding a bicycle made out of paper, but a bag or laptop case as well.

Currently, the Urban GC1 is wrapping up its campaign on Kickstarter, with just over $1,000 still needed to meet its goal. At just $145 to pledge, this bike is one of the most affordable ways to go green.