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The next super material: Shells from algae

Swedish Algae Factory’s new product had its origins in a journey the company founder made to the Antarctic.

The microalgal group diatoms account for 20% of global carbon fixation and produce the oxygen of every fifth breath we take. During millions of years, diatoms have evolved and survived in harsh conditions. On an expedition to the Antarctic, our co-founder, Angela Wulff, who is a professor in marine ecology, studied diatoms living inside and under the ice. A fascinating discovery that led her to believe that it would be possible to cultivate algae industrially back home in Sweden, under controlled forms. Once she had returned, she met Sofie Allert, a biotechnologist, who had developed a fascination for algae and the use of algae as a sustainable raw material in industrial applications during her bachelor thesis. Together they set out to prove that it is possible to create a sustainable and even climate positive industry with the help of algae.

Climate change effects, like global warming caused by carbon dioxide emissions, and our way of releasing chemicals that contaminate the oceans is endangering ocean life. In figures presented by National Geographic1 the problem is daunting: 82,000 chemicals from personal care products may be tainting the seas. Recently, reports that commonly used sunscreens are bleaching and damaging the coral reefs have been featured widely. In 2020 and 2021, the places like Palau, Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands and Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire have banned the sale and/or use of common sunscreens.2

Studies are also showing that ingredients used in personal care and sunscreen products are not only endangering ocean health, but also our health. There have been claims that commonly used personal care ingredients create allergic reactions, reproductive disorders, birth defects and cancer.3,4

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Upcoming Events

PCHi China 2023

The China Import and Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou
15-17 February 2023

SCSS - Conference & Laboratory Workshop

Republic Polytechnic - Woodlands Ave 9, Singapore 738964
Thur 16th & Fri 17th March 2023

in-cosmetics Global 2023 - Barcelona

Fira Barcelona Gran Via
28 - 30 March 2023

Access the latest issue of Personal Care Magazine on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Personal Care Magazine app from your device's App store

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