Your Fast-Food Burger May Soon Come Wrapped in Seaweed

An Australian University and a German manufacturer are developing sustainable packaging made from seaweed.

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By Jonathan Small

Most fast-food burgers and chicken sandwiches come wrapped in grease-resistant packaging that is terrible for the environment.

But researchers at Flinders University in Australia, along with a German biomaterials company, one • fıve, are developing next-generation biopolymer coating materials made of seaweed that could solve packaging pollution.

Grease-resistant paper is often coated with plastic and other environmentally harmful chemicals, such as polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). But the new paper prototype, which takes extracts from certain seaweed, helps prevent food from sticking to the paper while also serving up an environmentally circular solution to the problem.

"We are able to reduce harmful plastic pollution with this product, and we are also using feedstock that is environmentally regenerative," said Claire Gusko, Co-Founder of one • fıve.

Many in the fast-food industry are aware of the chemicals in their packaging.

Earlier this year, Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, and Popeyes, announced plans to roll out sustainable packaging by 2025.

Still no word on whether the Whopper will come wrapped in seaweed packaging.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief of Green Entrepreneur

Jonathan Small is editor-in-chief of Green Entrepreneur, a vertical from Entrepreneur Media focused on the intersection of sustainability and business. He is also an award-winning journalist, producer, and podcast host of the upcoming True Crime series, Dirty Money, and Write About Now podcasts. Jonathan is the founder of Strike Fire Productions, a premium podcast production company. He had held editing positions at Glamour, Stuff, Fitness, and Twist Magazines. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, and Good Housekeeping. Previously, Jonathan served as VP of Content for the GSN (the Game Show Network), where he produced original digital video series.

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