The rising demand for sustainable goods has led DS Smith to explore the opportunities for using seaweed as an alternative fiber resource.
The global packaging producer are in talks with various biotechnology companies to explore the use of seaweed in a range of packaging products, such as cartons, paper wraps and cardboard trays.
DS Smith are further exploring whether seaweed could act as a barrier coating to replace petroleum-based packaging used to protect perishable items.
The use of seaweed in manufacturing is an expanding market, with the European seaweed industry predicted to create over 115,000 jobs and be worth over £8 billion by 2030, according to DS Smith.
The seaweed project is part of DS Smith’s £100 million Circular Economy R&D program focused on producing natural fibers by working with straw, hemp and unusual sources, such as agricultural waste.
The company plans to manufacture 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2023 and aims to have all its packaging recycled or reused by 2030.