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Japanese plastic dirt is half as dense as real dirt, over 100 times more plastic

Nilay Patel

We've seen quite a few efforts to use gardens and terrariums in cities to order to bring down overall CO2 emissions and reduce temperatures, but Tokyo's earthquake-prone location means that structures there have to meet strict load requirements -- so a company called Suntory Ltd., has developed a synthetic dirt substitute called Pafcal it says weighs less than half as much as real soil. The fake dirt, which is made of urethane, can reduce the internal temperature of a building with a roof garden up to 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit). Of course, there's considerable irony in trying to save the planet by covering concrete buildings in fake plastic dirt, but then again, such a solution is about as Japanese as it gets, no?

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