How environmentally friendly is plastic made from seaweed?

18 January 2016

Scientists at LEI Wageningen UR NL have analysed the environmental impact of making plastic from two kinds of seaweed. They did this by performing a lifecycle analysis (LCA) during the experimental phase, and concluded that using algae as biomass is fundamentally more environmentally friendly than using maize or sugar cane. Even so, there is plenty more progress to be made.
“Seaweed extracts nutrients directly from water,” scientist Sander van den Burg says. “Unlike with the cultivation of maize or sugar beet, no polluting fertilisers are used. Furthermore, seaweed cultivation has relatively few negative effects on biodiversity” (News Item WUR, 11 January 2016).
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