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South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and a research team at Pohang University of Science and Technology will begin developing technology that uses marine plants to produce biodegradable plastic material.
Among the marine plants is an invasive algae called Sargassum horneri.
Each year, 24 tons of Sargassum horneri grow in South Korea to pose a problem. Using the algae will help the environment, government officials pointed out.
The team will use a strain that doesn’t require preliminary processing to produce biodegradable plastic material such as itaconic acid, 3-HP and lactic acid by 2026.
It also intends to develop a separate technology for combining monomers to obtain plastic properties, which will compensate for the shortcomings of environmentally friendly plastic, which has weaker plastic properties than petroleum-based plastic.