Christmas may be over but it seems the venerable Christmas tree might still have something more to offer. According to an article from the U.K.-based University of Bath, scientists from the school’s Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) have developed a renewable plastic from pinene, the fragrant chemical that gives Christmas trees their distinctive smell. The chemical is a waste product from the paper industry.
Scientists reportedly used pinene as the raw material to make a new type of plastic, replacing Caprolactone, a polymer made from crude oil that isn’t completely renewable. The project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), is also looking into other terpenes, such as limonene from citrus fruit, as a substitute for petrochemicals to make products ranging from plastics to pharmaceuticals, according to the university.
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