Cheap coating turns paper into plastic – then breaks down

The sprayable coating could make food containers.

two photos of a paper crane underwater, on the left it has retained its shape, on the right it has crumpled
A classic origami crane made from paper and coated with Choetsu (left) and uncoated (right). When submerged in water, the coated paper crane keeps its shape while the uncoated one quickly saturates with water and starts to disintegrate. Credit: ©2022 Hiroi et al.