Natural and synthetic fibres

Plants are for man a source of important raw materials: textile fibres, cellulose (to make paper) and wood. Thirty years ago, the experts were convinced such resources would disappear, since they would not have been able to withstand competition from man-made materials. In fact, natural products have maintained their market share and are expected to even increase it over the next few decades. These products have the great advantage of being renewable: unlike modern plastics and man-made fibres, which are produced from non-renewable resources (oil, coal), they are not bound to disappear. A cotton plantation grows all over again every year, as well as a forest can renew itself, though more slowly, after the trees have been cut.

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