M. Clauzier / Algopack

How can we reduce our dependence on plastic? In Brittany, in the town of Saint Malo, two entrepreneurs had the idea of tapping into an abundant natural resource: algae. In 2010, they created the company Algopack that today has several employees working on the project.

Each second, 500 kilograms of plastics are dumped into the oceans, 12 million tons per year. It is from this dramatic fact that Algopack was born. USB flash drives, eyeglass frames, beach toys, meal trays, test tubes… all of these objects can and have been made from algae.

From their appearance, nothing distinguishes them from equivalent items made from plastic. Yet they are made from two novel materials: Algopack (100% algae), and Algoblend, (half plastic, half algae). These materials allow the business to offer several product lines, from food wrapping products to flower pots that are 100% biodegradable and that, when planted, provide food to the plants.

Once dried out, brown macro-algae are processed into 1 mm-sized granules using a heat and mechanical procedure. This particular type of algae was chosen after months of research for its consistent matter, low water content and large availability on the beaches of the Finistère département of Brittany on the coast of northwest France. The company also provides algae byproducts to the French cosmetic industry.