Recycling has been so successful that the market is flooded with old newspapers. Molded Fibre Technology Inc., a tiny startup in Westbrook, Me., has an answer: a process that lets recycled newsprint replace plastics for many kinds of packaging.
The company refined a century-old process--called repulping--that has been used for making things like egg cartons. Newsprint is formed into papier-m ache slush, then vacuum-molded and dried. MFT uses interlocking molds in a single production run to turn out everything from baking trays to camera or cosmetics cases. The approach is even cheaper than plastics. Shiva Corp. in Cambridge, Mass., which previously shipped its computer modems in $2 Styrofoam blocks, now buys recycled newsprint cushions from Molded Fibre Technology for 68c each. MFT plans to license the technology and set up joint ventures.