PLASTICS: From Coffeepot to Ashtray

Brazil's one-crop economy is as chronically plagued with surpluses as the U.S. cotton South. In the past ten years the Brazilian Government has bought up more than 70,000,000 bags of surplus coffee from growers, spent millions for fuel oil and labor to burn it. But last week, thanks to a U.S. chemist, it looked as though Brazil might make something on its coffee surpluses. Means: cafelite (pronounced ka-fay-leé-tee), a new plastic.

Herbert Spencer Polin, a young (32) scientist whose home office is a laboratory on the 71st floor of Manhattan's Chrysler Building, got...

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