Greek startup turns washed up sea grass into durable products

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In Greece, 24-year-old eco-entrepreneur Stravros Tsompanidis is turning the dead sea grass leaves that wash up on the country’s beaches into products such as sunglasses and mobile phone cases. Most of that grass—species Posidonia Oceanica—ends up in landfills at a cost of €61 per ton ($75) to the municipality.

Tsompanidis founded PHEE in Patras, Greece three years ago, and has been ramping up product offerings ever since.

“The features of the sea grass and the Phee board which is the result of our patented production line is that it is 100 percent water resistant, UV resistant, as a surface it is anti-scratch and also the boards from the sea grass have some very interesting acoustic and thermal insulation properties,” he tells Xinhua. “Our first product launched back in 2016 was the Phee cases, the first protective mobiles’ cases made of real sea grass that are already placed in the Greek market until today…. We also want to export them in targeted markets abroad.”

Tsompanidis was named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Leaders Under 30 for Europe in January.