Industry News

Somater and Eronava have revealed a new algae-based polymer packaging

by | Mar 7, 2024

A new partnership between Somater and Eronava has produced a new packaging that is biobased and manufactured out of green algae. The aim for these companies in creating this packaging, is to replace fossil-based polymers with an alternative packaging solution that is environmentally friendly.

The algae that Somater is manufacturing its packaging ranges out of, is sourced from the Étang de Berre and it is then fully made in France. This eco-friendly manufacturing process is then improved further once the algae packaging is combined with polypropylene or polyethylene, this then results in a packaging solution which is biobased and recyclable.

The material that has been created has been named ALGX and the purpose of this material is to produce a ‘luxurious tactile experience’ that has a ‘velvety and silky’ texture. The material has now been made available in a range of colours, including black, white and a range of pastel colours. It is also available in its natural and original ‘toffee’ hue. The final aesthetic benefit is that the company has made it possible for consumers to opt to have their packaging decorated through the use of screen printing and/or hot stamping techniques.

The overall goal around this project is to cause a positive environmental impact through cultivating and upcycling algae, as it is hoped that this process will help to prevent pollution in nature, as well as on the coast. This is the hope and goal for this project, as algae has been known to absorb ten times more carbon dioxide per hectare in comparison to the amount that forests absorb. This leads to the prediction that using algae more commonly and widely could lower the carbon footprint that has been created through packaging production processes, whilst also adding to the efforts to combat climate change.

In order to ensure these goals and aims are feasible, Eranova has run life cycle assessments to ensure the ‘positive environment impact’ of the materials they are using is accurate. So far, Somater has validated the materials in use for injection moulding, blow moulding, extrusion blow moulding and finally, thermoforming applications. The results of these techniques are durable, functional and aesthetically pleasing packaging designs.

On top of all of this, the companies have also made 100% biobased combinations and materials which incorporate post-consumer recycled content, available in their market-ready range. Eranova have said that ALGX is able to be recycled and Eranova and Somater have agreed that recyclability of biobased materials are at the top of their priority list when it comes to manufacturing these products.

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