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Loliware's algae-based plastic alternatives get $ 6 million seeds from environmentally aware inv

In recent years, many cities have banned plastic bags, plastic straws and other common forms of waste, giving ecological alternatives a big boost, including Loliware, a provider of fine disposable products created from seaweed. High demand and smart sourcing have attracted a great first round of financing.

I covered Loliware from the beginning when it was one of the first companies to invest in Ocean Solutions Accelerator, a program initiated in 2017 by the nonprofit organization Sustainable Ocean Alliance. Founder Chelsea "Sea" Briganti told me about the new funds for SOA's strange but successful "Accelerator at Sea" program at the end of last year.

The company mainly produces straws, with other planned products, from seaweed. Seaweed, if unfamiliar, is a common type of aquatic algae (also called seaweed) that can grow quite a lot and is known for its robustness. It also grows in large quantities in many coastal places, creating "seaweed forests" that sustain entire ecosystems. The intelligent management of these fast-growing algae reserves could make them a significantly better source than corn or paper, which are currently used to create the majority of biodegradable straws.

A patented process converts seaweed into straws that look plastic but degrade in a simple way (and not in their hot drink; they can withstand considerably greater exposure than straws based on corn and paper). Naturally, the taste is also eliminated, desirable in some circumstances, but not when a seltzer is drunk.

Briganti told me that it required a lot of R&D and adjustments.

“None of this has been done before. We lead the entire development, from materials technology to new machinery engineering and manufacturing practices. In this way we ensure that all aspects of product development are truly scalable. "

They have gone through more than a thousand prototypes and continue to iterate as advances make possible things like greater flexibility or different forms.

"Ultimately, our material is a massive deviation from the paradigms with which other companies are approaching the development of biodegradable materials," he said. "They start with a problematic paradigm, lasting forever, derived from fossil fuels, and try not to be so bad: this is a development of gradual change and too slow and unfortunate to really have an impact."

Read more at source: Newsdio



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