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Recyclable paper helmets could bring safety to bike share programs

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paper pulp helmet
paper pulp helmet

Bike sharing programs have made it easier than ever to get around major cities like London, Paris, and New York, but one important cycling accessory is still missing from all of their rental stations: helmets. A trio of designers think they can fix that with a solution that's just as environmentally conscious as the biking programs themselves — they've created a one-time-use helmet that's made primarily from recycled paper. According to Wired, the designers' "Paper Pulp Helmets" should cost around $1.50 each, and they're reportedly in talks to have the helmets sold all across London in conjunction with the Barclays Cycle Hire sharing system.

The helmets are constructed out of a newspaper and water mixture that's heated and treated to make them hard and waterproof through up to six hours of rain. While the designers tell Wired that the pulp helmets should meet all European safety standards, they don't intend for them to stand up to the same level of punishment that regular bicycle helmets can endure. The trio is working to make the helmet safer regardless, but one of the next challenges is making people want to wear them. "[At the moment] it's not stylish," designer Thomas Gottelier told Wired. They hope to have the pulp helmets on cyclists' heads within the next 12 months.