Indonesia is experimenting with the use of seaweed as an alternative to plastic. The country already ranks as the world’s second largest producer of seaweed behind China, making about 8 million tons a year.
Indonesia is also the world’s second biggest contributor to plastic waste after China, responsible for about 15% of all the plastic pollution in the ocean with consumption still rising. Bioplastic products such as seaweed have been identified as possible alternative to plastic.
Local governments have started to explore such solutions. For instance, in Nusa Lembongan, southeast of Bali island, authorities are looking to employ 100 farmers for a program that hands out 0.8 hectares (2 acres) per farmer to grow seaweed. Moreover, even if seaweed plastic has yet to be adopted by large companies in the country, a growing number of startups have started using seaweed to replace conventional single-use products and packaging in Indonesia, such as Jakarta-based Evoware, which makes edible seaweed cups, edible food wrapping and single-use sachets.
(Sources: Mongabay; Green Queen)