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Seaweed Packaging Can Finally Replace Plastic

In really good news for our planet, California-based startup Sway - which uses polymers in seaweed to make compostable plastic alternatives - just launched the world’s first scalable replacement to single-use packaging.

Sway logo
Credit: Sway

Today, retail bags and polybags (the plastic commonly used for shipping goods) make up one third of all single-use plastics. Almost all of these end up in landfills. Happily, Sway packaging is designed to biodegrade in less than 180 days and can be composted in any home compost or green bin.

After four years on the market, Sway is about to implement their patented seaweed products into the global manufacturing systems already in place and scale up production.

Seaweed has flourished on Earth for over one billion years. During that time, it has provided nearly half the planet's oxygen, home to life underwater, and food for those onshore. The team at Sway are now cleverly extending the inherent generosity of the ocean by pairing the benevolence of seaweed with advanced materials science to create their innovative alternative to plastic.

Sway is already testing new materials with large retailers like J. Crew and Burton. “Projects like this take time, and we’re thrilled to see Sway’s steady progression toward market-scale production that will empower brands like ours to transition into next-generation materials,” said Doug Forster, the Chief Sourcing Officer for J. Crew.

It won't be too long before single-use plastic packaging is a thing of the past. Seaweed is one of the greenest alternatives as paper packaging takes up more space in landfills, and cardboard waste produces methane.

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