Dordan thermoformed ALGIX's algae plastic in 2010, as part of its sustainable plastics research. The material was comprised of 15% algae, 85% PP. The algae acted as a filler, reducing the amount of plastic needed per application.
The algae feedstock was harvested from wastewater treatment facilities in Georgia's "Carpet Belt"; then, dried, ground, and extruded into bio-based "plastic" sheet for thermoforming.
Dordan's algae plastic trays were well received by the industry; but, economies of scale were never realized. Because of this, ALGIX's algae plastic never made the jump from R&D to large-scale commercialization. Sadly, this is the fate for many material science discoveries.
Yet, ALGIX didn't stop there. It has since launched Bloom Foam, an algae-based foam that is now being used in the insoles of SAOLA's sustainable shoes. Like Dordan's thermoformed algae plastic, SAOLA's sole construction is a combination of synthetic (EVA) and bio-based materials. By taking a waste product like algae (eutrophication), and repurposing it as a material substitute for synthetic materials, Bloom Foam is an innovation in sustainable material design.