Zero House zeros out greenhouse gases, utility bills, toxic materials

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credit: Lloyd Alter/ Rewall

It's in fact about the most un-natural material you can imagine; it's Rewall Essentialboard, an exterior sheathing board made from what Chris calls " recycled, compressed drinking cartons." But when you look closely, it looks like TetraPak stuff, and the manufacturer explains: "We take a typically very hard to recycle composite material (cartons) and upcycle them into very durable, moisture and mold resistant composite panels."

This is actually really important news for TreeHugger. We have been going on about these materials for years. TreeHugger Ruben once wrote about them and their use as containers:

The places that say they recycle Tetra Paks are liars. What does "re" mean? It means again. Can a Tetra Pak be made into another Tetra Pak? No. Tetra Paks are seven incomprehensibly thin layers of paper, plastic and aluminum. The poor suckers who try to recycle them use giant blenders to mush the paper pulp off the plastic and metal, then they need to separate the plastic from the metal. What idiot thought this would be a better idea than washing a bottle and refilling it?

We have had a troubled relationship with this kind of packaging forever; it's better than BPA lined cans, but almost always went to the dump. Where it was recycled, it was more of a feel-good greenwashing operation to placate the environmentalists. Now with Rewall, they are actually putting it to good use. This is great news.

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