In 2013 Aagje Hoekstra has developed Coleoptera, a plastic made of pressed insect shells. She took the armour of dead Darkling Beetles, which grow from larvae known as mealworms. In the Netherlands mealworms are bred for the animal food industry but they transform into beetles. After laying its eggs the beetle dies, so insect farms in the Netherlands are throwing away 30 kilograms of dead beetles every week.

Before the beetles are disposed of, Hoekstra peels them so she is left with just the shells, which are made of a natural polymer called chitin. She uses a chemical process to transform the chitin into chitosan, which bonds better due to a variation in the molecular composition. The material is then heat-pressed to create a plastic, with the oval-shaped shells still visible. This paper-thin material is already used for light objects and jewelry.