Packaging Future

Agar Plasticity.

Agar Plasticity: Packaging based on marine algae
Image source: AMAM

“The day after tomorrow” another highly renewable source of plastics arrives on the market: seaweed. The “Agar Plasticity” materials research project is already pointing the way forward. This aims to explore agar derived from algae as an alternative to synthetic plastics. Agar is a traditional Japanese food that is often used to make sweets. The raw material here is two types of red algae that grow and can be harvested worldwide. The agar is extracted by boiling. However, agar is already used around the globe in scientific and medical applications. It is sold mainly in dried state in the form of blocks, flakes and powder. Blockagar has a porous, feather-like structure and is very light despite its volume – ideal properties for a packaging material. Thus, agar is a promising alternative to disposable food packaging and can thus help avoid unnecessary synthetic waste. The project “Agar Plasticity” was awarded in the category ‘ANTICIPATION’ at the Lexus Design Award 2016.