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A drop in the ocean

A takeaway chips tray made out of carbon capturing materials to counter ocean acidification at an individual scale.

  • A takeaway tray made to be left in the sea after use, to help marine ecosystems.

  • Video credits : Maël Hénaff

    Video credits : Maël Hénaff

  • The biodegrading packaging in context , which takes 14 days to dissolve.

  • Measuring the different ph levels when the material is added and without in seawater.

Ce qu'il fait

This project tackles the issue of Ocean Acidification by replacing fossil fuel based materials used for takeaway trays with CO2 capturing materials (oyster shells), CO2 absorbing minerals (Olivine) and seaweed, to help marine ecosystems at its end of life.

Votre source d'inspiration

Over absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide by the ocean lowers the ocean's pH, causing a 30% increase in ocean acidity since the industrial era. Scientists, policy makers, and engineers have been, for the past decades, researching on solutions to the issue, grouping these into what is called Ocean Negative Emission Technologies – these propositions need financial help from Governments and years of planning to be put in place. So how could we, as a collective, help with ocean ecosystems regeneration from an individual to a global scale ?

Comment ça marche

The product is made out of three ingredients : reclaimed oyster shells from restaurants, olivine sand, and a seaweed binder. These ingredients are food safe and do not impact the food taste either. After use the object is made to be left on the beach to act as a deacidifying agent for the marine ecosystems. It will take 14 days to dissolve, so it will not cause any "visual harm" to the surrounding environment either. If the 7.87 Billion people on Earth started using this product as much as people use traditional plastic objects on the beach, we could collectively act as a global agent for deacidification all around the world.

Processus de conception

I started looking at the different solutions engineers and scientists are working on to counter ocean acidification. However, I slowly began to understand that these machines, geo-engineering techniques are not going to solve ocean acidification, but will only mitigate the problem. That's when I began looking for ways to create engagement in the cause through people behaviours. I realised that most people are too distant from nature to actually care for the future of it, unless something is impacting human comfort. Thus I started ideating on different ways to merge human needs and marine ecosystems needs : not only there was an opportunity to replace fossil fuel based materials, but there was also a potential for individual behaviour to be used as an act of deacidification. But I wanted to also communicate the issue through the physical object I was making, so I changed it into the most prevalent beach waste : takeaway packagings. I then started designing the packaging, 3D modelling it to cast the model then cast my biomaterial paste in the mold to have the final prototype, after multiple fails and prototypes.

En quoi est-il différent ?

Most packagings and takeaway products in the sustainable world are made to be only biodegradable, reusable, or compostable, the latter needing people to go to either have a home compost (and use it) or go to composting facilities to actually use their end of product properties. My idea takes a different take in that the product is not only biodegradable, but also helps marine ecosystems with materials taken from the sea (reclaimed and harvested). Also taking inspiration from geo-engineering techniques, the product is in fact a miniature version of what scientists and geo-engineers are trying to reproduce, which is much easier to upscale and fund than geo-engineering large scale techniques.

Plans pour l'avenir

I plan to research and develop different objects I can produce with my material, mainly objects going into water streams or used around seashores. I am considering two pathways : the first one is to make objects used on a large scale around seashores (as well as continuing researching on effective binders for the packaging), mainly in developped countries; the second pathway is to get in contact with communities relying on the sea to understand their real needs, communicate the issue, and design functional objects out of my biomaterial with them to help them locally mitigate this environmental problem.


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