Plastic is pretty much the bane of green existence, but its low cost and high versatility have kept it in production for decades—and into the foreseeable future, too. But as more and more people work to find alternatives to the polluting material, a viable solution may have been found at the intersection of technology and algae.
Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros have created a 3D-printable bioplastic made from algae. Able to be printed into virtually any shape, this new substance could finally be the viable alternative to plastic researchers and environmentalists have been searching for for years.
The design duo create their bioplastic first by cultivating the easy-to-grow, green and abundant algae in a lab. The algae is then dried and processed into a liquid bioplastic, which can then be used to 3D print any number of objects, from shampoo bottles and tableware to trash cans. The innovative process could completely replace products made from fossil fuels, according to Inhabitat.