Waste Recycling Algae Into Plastic

A start-up company named Algix is turning to algae to manufacture plastics.

The company is working on cultivating aquatic biomasses (algae) for use as industrial, retail and commercial plastics.

Algae sources from wastewater treatment locations develop in nitrogen-rich environments, creating a high-protein organism. When blended with a base resin, a form of plastic is developed. Algae results in a thermoplastic while duckweed plants, which are also abundant at wastewater facilities, result in a strong, stiff plastic.

The created plastic material is ideal for injection and compression molding and thermoforming.

The plastic can also be used as mulching film sheets as it biodegrades and become plant food. Farmers or gardeners could unroll a sheet and let it dissolve naturally.

Additionally, there are uses for flooring and carpeting as well as the creation of biodegradable packaging materials, lawn and garden appliances, and paint cans.

There are some limitations to this algae plastic. One is that it cannot be made into a clear substance instead appearing dark green to murky brown. Users cite that this new form of plastic has an earthy feel different from conventional plastics. That difference, combined with it’s earth friendly composition could appeal to those looking for the convenience and durability of plastics but wanting something more environmentally friendly.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Waste Recycling and the green economy offers lots of room for innovation and entrepreneurship. What can you do with the waste generated by your business or community that can earn you “green”?