UK seaweed farm ramps up to produce bioplastic

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In the UK, SeaGrown is building the country’s first seaweed farm in the coastal town of Scarborough. The seaweed will be used to produce biodegradable plastics. The project was supported by a £472,000 (US$623,849) grant from the Coastal Communities Fund.

“There’s a gap in the UK in exploiting the natural resource that is seaweed,” cofounder Wave Crookes tells the Yorkshire Post. “It’s done in Holland, Spain and Scandinavia but it hasn’t taken off here yet. But in Scarborough, we happen to be on a very good stretch of coast for seaweed. It grows prolifically and naturally.”

Currently, SeaGrown is comprised of just two workers who provide the seaweed to restaurants and cosmetics customers, but the farm is expected to create 25 new jobs within five years. “We’ve got lots of people in this area looking for marine work,” Crookes adds. “This will give people a means of going back to the sea with their traditional skills.”