DS Smith to explore use of seaweed as alternative fibre source for paper and packaging
The rising demand for sustainable goods has led DS Smith to explore the opportunities for using seaweed fibres as an alternative fibre 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.
Thomas Ferge, paper and board development direct at DS Smith said: “As a leader in sustainability, our research into alternative raw material and fibre sources has the potential to be a real game changer for our customers and consumers who increasingly want products that are easy to recycle and have a minimal impact on the environment”
"Seaweed is one of the many alternative natural materials we're closely looking at, and while most people probably associate it with the beach or as an ingredient in sushi, it could have some exciting applications for us to help create the next generation of sustainable paper and packaging solutions."
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 programme focused on producing natural fibres by working with straw, hemp, and unusual sources such as agricultural waste.
DS Smith is focused on protecting natural resources and reducing waste and pollution through circular solutions to lead the transition to a circular economy.
The company plans to manufacture 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2023 and aims to have all its packaging recycled or reused by 2030.