Can a Helmet Made From Recycled Newspapers Really Protect Your Noggin?

As bike rental programs get more and more popular in big, tourist-friendly cities around the world, wouldn't it be great if occasional cyclists could get a temporary helmet on the cheap? That's the goal of the designers behind the Paper Pulp Project, who have designed a bike helmet made from recycled newspaper that costs less than $1.50 to produce, but is claimed to protect as well as a more expensive option.

So why wouldn't everyone opt for a cheap paper pulp helmet that its creator claims "meets stringent European safety standards" and easily survives drop tests? For starters, it's not the most weatherproof option, although a protective coating could let it survive the rain for a few hours. And after every accident it's pretty much a write-off, so regular cyclists will still certainly want to opt for more durable protection.

Renting a bike is a great way to leisurely explore a city you're visiting on the cheap, but as more and more tourists are taking to the streets in places they're unfamiliar with, the issue of bike safety needs to be addressed. And a disposable helmet that's just as affordable as a rented bike is the perfect solution to ensure that part of your vacation isn't spent in a hospital bed.

[Paper Pulp Helmet via Popular Science]