Keeping the contents of your head on the inside is a priority shared by many cyclists, thus the popularity of the bike helmet. But there’s a situation where helmets are rarely used: bike rental/sharing (like Montreal’s Bixi, NYC’s City Bikes or London’s “Boris Bikes”). Since most people don’t walk around with a helmet, they’re unlikely to have one when they decide to hop on a bike, so they ride without. The Paper Pulp Helmet concept looks to offer an alternative. Made from paper pulp derived from recycled newspapers, the helmet is vaccuum formed and can conceivably be sold for around $1.50, which is cheap enough to be paid for alongside a bike rental. The grooves that you see serve multiple purposes, like allowing for straps to be used, as well as providing aeration to prevent a wearer’s overheating. An organic additive is included in its preparation which makes the helmet waterproof for six hours. And when you’re done, simply toss it in a recycling bin and move on with your day.
Will a paper helmet keep you safe? It allegedly meets “stringent European safety standards”, though even if it doesn’t, some protection is arguably better than none.
And yes, this is only a concept at the moment, with no word on when or if it’ll ever see light of day.