Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Innovations

Using brown seaweed to make sustainable paper cups

October 31, 2018
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Seaweed is one of the fastest growing organisms on the planet, at half a metre per day, and could solve the problem
of non-biodegradable packaging. Image credit: Skipping Rocks Lab

J dropcapulianna Photopoulos writes in Horizon EU Research and Innovation magazine that UK start-up Skipping Rocks Lab aims to use natural materials extracted from plants and seaweed to create waste-free alternatives to single-use plastics, such as bottles, cups and plates. In 2013, it introduced its first product, Ooho, an edible water bottle made from brown seaweed. Now, the company wants to use brown seaweed to make a sustainable paper cup for takeaway drinks through a project called UCUP.

“It’s becoming really obvious, the effects plastic has on the environment,” said Rodrigo García González, co-founder and co-CEO of the Skipping Rocks Lab. “Society is becoming more aware that this is a big problem and we need solutions from institutions, companies and consumers.”

“You use a coffee cup for half an hour maximum and then it’s going to be in the environment for probably 700 years. That’s a big mismatch in terms of use and shelf life,” he said.

The idea is to use seaweed as a bio-based, biodegradable and recyclable container in disposable food packaging, which is also waterproof and thermal-resistant. To date, paper cups are often lined or coated with plastic such as polyethylene (PE) or oil-based waxes to prevent the liquid from leaking out or soaking through the paper. This makes them difficult to recycle, says Mr. García González.

In addition, cups that claim to be 100% biodegradable or compostable are usually made from polylactic acid (PLA), a polyester derived from renewable resources such as starches, which still takes a long time to break down.

Instead, seaweed packaging can decompose in soil in about four to six weeks. As seaweed is cheap, easy to harvest and extract, and is available on every coastline, it could replace the plastic liner inside most takeaway cups and provide the same properties as current oil-based ones at competitive prices.

UCUP has completed its first stage of research to see whether there is a potential market for non-plastic disposable takeaway cups and is now planning to develop, test and commercialize the cups.

The work is part of a concerted effort to move away from reliance on plastic, which, as well as not being easy to break down, is traditionally made from fossil fuels. Mr. García González points out that the UK government is considering taxing items such as disposable coffee cups in the same way it does plastic bags, while some coffee chains give customers a discount when they use their own cup.

Read More

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2020 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Trade Arabia reports that the Oman Centre for Marine Biotechnology (OCMB) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Swedish Algae Factory to support the domestic...
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and partner institutions have provided the first published report of algae using raw plants as a carbon energy source. The r...
Hayley Dunning writes from the Imperial College of London that a new discovery has changed our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite t...
The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative, a technology-based economic development program funded by the state of Utah, has awarded a $175,320 grant for...
Cécile Barbière writes for Euractive.fr (translated by Rob Kirby) that, in large greenhouses formerly home to the tomatoes and cucumbers of the market gardening Groupe Ol...
Globally, an increase in water pollution is pushing scientists and environmental care specialists to seek best ways of preserving and maintaining sources of safe drinking...
JapanNews.com reports that Euglena Co., a Tokyo-based maker of nutritional supplements, is spending ¥5.8 billion ($5.3 million USD) on building a test refinery that conve...
According to Vegconomist.com, advanced ingredients company Noblegen, creator of proteins, carbohydrates, and oil ingredients from the single celled microorganism Euglena ...
Liu Jia reports for the Chinese Academy of Sciences that a “magic soil” made out of modified clays has proven effective in fighting red tide along China’s coastal waters ...
Maiki Sherman, traveling with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, reports for 1News Now that new innovation partnerships have been signed between New Zealand and J...
The 2019 Algae Biomass Summit, the largest algae conference in the world, kicked off Tuesday in Orlando, Florida, with opening keynote presentations and plenary discussio...
Jason Huffman writes in UndercurrentNews.com that the Kampachi Company, a mariculture business focused on expanding the environmentally sound production of sashimi-grade ...