Can algae replace plastic?
Currently, more than 400 million tons of plastic are produced in the world each year; in Europe alone 62 million, Spain being the fourth most demanding country. As we all know, plastics are widely used products in any daily activity. Since its discovery more than a century ago, it has been part of our lives in almost any object we use, however, they are highly harmful to the environment, due to their extremely high
decomposition times; for example, plastic bags, made of low-density polyethylene, take around 150 years to completely decompose, and, even further, plastic bottles can take up to a thousand years to decompose if they remain buried.
Looking for possible solutions to this problem, the American start-up company Sway has found the algae plastic formula, which aims to be one of the most viable alternatives in the replacement of petroleum-derived polymers, and may become the next step in the evolution of the containers.
According to Sway, seaweed grows up to 60 times faster than other crops on land, and can remove up to 20 times more carbon from the air than forests, when measured per square kilometer, making it carbon negative.”.
In addition, this type of cultivation has multiple benefits, it is cheaper, does not need pesticides or fertilizers and requires little equipment in its production.
Algae plastic can be used in virtually anything conventional plastic is used in, though the packaging revolution would be its main focus.
Clearly, this algae-based plastic is not the only alternative that aims to change the world, as there are countless initiatives, but most of them generate many inconveniences when trying to be manufactured on a large scale.
Hopefully soon we can see it as a reality
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