Are Cups Made Of Seaweed an answer to The Single-Use Plastic Problem?

Source: Photopoulos/From Horizon Magazine/Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine

Photo: Salomé Watel/Unsplash


A significant amount of the single-use plastics that we use ends up in our oceans. As people increasingly ditch these plastics, seaweed—also known as macroalgae—and microalgae could be the solutions to the world’s plastic food packaging problem. These are being used to develop everyday items, from edible water bottles to coffee cups to biofuels.

Globally, we produce more than 400 million tonnes of  every year, according to UN Environment’s report on single-use plastics. Packaging thrown away after one use accounts for 36% of all plastic produced globally, making it the largest industry in plastic production. Most of this waste is produced in Asia. However, per person, it’s the US, Japan and the European Union (EU) that generate the most plastic packaging waste.

2016 World Economic Forum report stated that by 2050, there could be more plastics than fish in the sea if the current production trends continue.

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

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Photo: Salomé Watel/Unsplash

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