Can Seaweed Reduce the Scourge of Plastic Waste? Packaging Leader DS Smith Looking to Use Seaweed as Alternative Fiber Source

CANNANNEW REPORT

Seaweed project part of company’s $140M circular economy research, development program ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–From a pile of seaweed to a cardboard box. That’s what sustainable paper and packaging leader DS Smith now is exploring to determine if seaweed fibers can be used as a raw material in paper and packaging products amid increasing demand for recyclable goods from business customers and consumers. In an industry first, DS Smith could use seaweed across its packaging network as an alternative fiber source to wood. After initial testing, the company also is researching seaweed’s potential role as a barrier coating, replacing problem plastics and petroleum-based packaging used to protect many foodstuffs. DS Smith announced today it is talking to several biotechnology companies to explore the potential use of eco-friendly seaweed fibers in a range of packaging products, such as cartons, paper wraps and cardboard trays. “As a leader in sustainability, our research into alternative raw material and fiber sources will help us drive this project forward, looking at seaweed’s strength, resilience, recyclable properties, scalability and cost. Seaweed could have multiple uses with a low ecological footprint that is easily recyclable and naturally biodegradable,” said Giancarlo Maroto, managing director, paper, forestry and recycling for DS Smith North America. Maroto also said the production process with seaweed could be less energy intensive, with fewer chemicals used to extract the fibers, creating the next generation of sustainable paper and packaging solutions. The seaweed project is part of DS Smith’s more than $140 million, five-year circular economy research and development program announced earlier this year. The work is designed in part to boost research into alternative fibers and to reduce and eliminate waste. It’s also looking at potential uses of natural fibers, such as straw, hemp, miscanthus and cotton. Also being tested are more unusual sources, including the…

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Source : Can Seaweed Reduce the Scourge of Plastic Waste? Packaging Leader DS Smith Looking to Use Seaweed as Alternative Fiber Source

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