Atlanta-based paper and packaging company DS Smith has announced it is exploring a new sustainability initiative that would lead to a cleaner environment. As part of the company’s $140 million circular economy research, DS Smith is exploring the use of seaweed fibers as an alternative source of packaging.
The five-year research and development plan was announced in May with the aim of developing new materials to replace plastics. The company announced Monday that it is talking to several biotechnology companies about the possibility of using seaweed fibers as a raw material in paper and packaging products. Fibers are just one of the many uses of seaweed, which can be used in food products, for biofuels, and for pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
If implemented, seaweed fibers could be more energy efficient and take less chemicals to extract than wood fibers, the company said, adding that they are researching seaweed’s role as a barrier coating, replacing ‘problem plastics’ and petroleum-based packaging.