‘Cheer Project’ is a research on pine needles in which this abundant, overlooked and unwanted material is developed into a 100% bio-based, recyclable and compostable biocomposite material.
Himachal Pradesh is a state in India at the foothills of the Himalayas. It is known for its quaint valleys and snow-covered mountains. Most of this beauty is created from the pine forest, which covers forty thousand square kilometres. But the state is facing menacing environmental complications caused by the fallen leaves of pine trees called pine needles. The imbalance caused by these needles has a huge impact on life and the entire ecosystem. From forest fires, water scarcity to unemployment.
Cheer Project offers a sustainable and socially-viable solution to the environmental hazards caused by an overabundance of dried pine needles on the forest floor. Through a holistic approach, Cheer Project’s production process unveils the dormant potential of pine needles while also empowering indigenous communities through creating livelihood opportunities for them. The process is circular: pine needles are collected by indigenous communities from nearby pine forests, the collected needles are then processed into a fibre with locally-built, low-cost machinery. This pine fibre is further mixed with natural binders to make the pine composite. The developed composition is 100% bio-based, compostable, recyclable, fire retardant, water repellent and causes no pollution or waste in the process.
This bio-composite material can be used by local artisans to manufacture sustainable products and revenue generated through sales, which will further strengthen the rural economy. Cheer Project seeks to democratise the process of problem-solving through design. The ultimate concept rests on the fusion of local craftsmanship and sustainable utilisation of a naturally abundant novel material; the rediscovery of the humble pine needle.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Pine needle fibre, natural binders, waxes
Cheer Project: From Earth, To Earth
Student Winner Design for Social Impact Award
Gaurav MK Wali transforms pine needles into biodegradable composite material
An Indian designer turned pine needles into a bio-composite raw material
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