If you’ve ever heard of Trash Island, then you know that plastic ending up in the ocean is a huge problem. But what if we could Stop throwing plastic in the ocean and, instead, start tossing biodegradable packaging made from seaweed into the deep blue?

It could be our future, at least according to a group of Japanese designers who think they’ve figured out how to turn Agar (a popular food thickening agent derived from seaweed) into a biodegradable substitute for conventional plastic packaging. The process was as simple as boiling different types of algae and then dehydrating the result. It can even be made into cushioning or a thin plastic film like saran wrap.

One of the benefits of Agar, aside from the fact that it is totally natural and safe, is the fact that it actually helps the soil it’s biodegrading in by increasing its water retention properties.

The group presented their new product at the Lexus International’s fourth annual design competition, where the handily won the top prize for this year.

Source: Inhabitat