UNSW student invents renewable form of packaging

[Australia] A graduating student from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia has invented seaweed food packaging, which could eliminate the need for plastic.

The student, Jessica Zinga, invented an entirely renewable form of packaging: seaweed fish and chip containers.

As part of the Sea Harvest, Zinga has produced the new container packaging using 100% seaweed fish and chip.

The biodegradable packets, which have potential to eliminate the need for plastic, can be returned to the ocean rather than landfill, creating a closed-loop life-cycle.

The project work has been exhibited at the Australian Design Centre’s Design Bright Futures exhibition.

At the exhibition, Zinga said: “I’ve used seaweed as a renewable material that doesn’t use fresh water for irrigation, pesticides or consume fertile farmland.

“I see seaweed as creating value from locally accessible and sustainable resources that could be explored in any region of the world. Seaweed farming has been promoted to fisherman in developing tropical countries as profitable revenue, taking pressure off local fisheries.”

The harvested seaweed is initially compressed and moulded in order to produce bowl-like containers, which can be used for take-away food.

The harvested seaweed is also being used by Zinga to produce natural dyes for textiles.

Recently, Packaging firm Sonoco has entered into a research partnership with Clemson University to develop new technologies and various types of packaging to enhance the fresh food lifecycle.


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