It is no longer new that consumption and waste of plastic has an alarming number. Scientists have warned that the amount of plastic waste infiltrating the natural landscape will exceed 12 billion tonnes by 2050. Around the world, a generation of designers, innovators and manufacturers are rethinking raw materials and presenting new solutions to this challenge. How to replace single-use plastics? Is recycling a good measure for the environment?
This search evolves to biological manufacturing replaces industrial, returning the contact with nature and learning from the circular system of the natural world has.
Margarita Talep and eco-friendly food packaging
Why is a disposable product is made of an indestructible material?
Concerned about the impact of discarded food plastic packaging on the environment, the Chile-based designer Margarita Talep developed biodegradable material alternative created from algae. Her organic material is designed to biodegrade in around two to three months, depending on the thickness of the material and the temperature of the soil.
The potential of algae as an alternative material is enormous. Through different techniques and compositions, her research has generated bioplastics rigid or more flexible.
Through the addition of natural pigments, extracted from fruit and vegetable peels the designer is able to create bioplastics with delicate colours.
Algae Lab, 3D-printed biopolymer plastic by Erik Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros
The Algae is dried and processed into a liquid bioplastic that can be used to 3D print objects. With the ease of producing any shape or container, this new material can easily replace jars, tableware, trash cans or other packaging that are now manufactured from oil-bearing material.
With 3D printers, it is possible to produce the same design in France or Holland, with algae from each region. It is getting the same shape with the use of local raw material. In this way, the design can be available online and produced locally when it is necessary. Thus it reduces waste throughout the production and distribution chain.
A great benefit of this project that can easily be produced on a large scale. It is processed like traditional plastics and has proven to be suitable for injection molding.