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From seaweed to plastic, how to make sustainable packaging

Posted by Analog Watch Co. on

Did you know that the first plastic ever made was bio-based? Trends may be hard to keep up with at times, but creating tools out of natural materials is something we have been doing for centuries! So when this company came out with a plastic packaging made out of Algae, I have to admit I was very excited and impressed, but not so surprised, it's clear this is the direction of the future for consumers. 

Take a look at every item you own, at some point it was packaged. Weather it being as simple as the tag on your shirt or the bag/box tonight's pasta came in. If you bought it, it was packaged, most likely with petroleum based plastics. 

"A few resourceful scientists and engineers have chosen to tackle the problem, including designer Margarita Talep, who has developed an algae-based alternative to plastic."

Most packaging has a short lifecycle, Talep wanted to make a material that could handle holding food as well as other products, but also break down rapidly once it hit the waste stream. 

Sourced from seaweed, agar is a gel like substance often used in the food industry as a thickener. It can be used as a gelatin substitute to make vegan jello or gummies. 

 

By heating the agar, a polymer is created, then Talep adds water as a plasticizer as well as natural vegetable dyes for color. The plastic is then ready to be poured into molds for shape. With slight adjustments in the recipe, versatile applications for this material are available. 

 

Material Monthly Series

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