What is Algae and Why is it a Problem?



Algae encompass a wide variety of aquatic life forms capable of photosynthesis, transforming sunlight into energy. While some forms of algae, like seaweeds (including kelp and phytoplankton), might be well-known, there’s a much broader realm of algae that plays a vital role in our ecosystem.

However, algae can become a problem when their growth becomes uncontrolled, leading to phenomena known as algal blooms. These blooms can have several negative impacts on aquatic ecosystems, human health, and the economy. When algae grow excessively, they can deplete the oxygen in the water, making it difficult or even impossible for other aquatic organisms to survive. This process, known as eutrophication, can lead to dead zones where marine life cannot exist.

Furthermore, algae can produce toxins that are harmful to both marine life and humans. These toxins can contaminate drinking water and seafood, leading to potential health issues. Algal blooms can also block sunlight from reaching other aquatic plant life, disrupting the aquatic food chain and leading to a loss of biodiversity.


How Algae PLA is a step towards Sustainable 3D Printing



As the popularity of 3D printing increases, so too does the demand for plastic, which has a direct effect on the environment. Thus, the sustainability of materials can no longer be overlooked if we aim to reduce the depletion of non-renewable resources.

Incorporating bio-based fillers into conventional polymers presents a practical way of reducing their environmental impact. When added to biodegradable plastics, like PLA, algae increase their biodegradability. This becomes especially relevant given that whilst PLA can be biodegradable, this process requires very specific conditions.

Also, thanks to their exceptional growth efficiency and capability to absorb significant quantities of CO2, algae-based fillers can offer additional ecological benefits.

It’s also important to note that using algae as a raw material promotes sustainable cultivation practices as “algae do not compete with the food production for human consumption.” This distinction is crucial because it means that using algae for raw materials does not strain the already limited agricultural resources or contribute to potential food scarcity issues.


Benefits of using Algae PLA filament for your 3D Printing


Users of algae-based PLA filament significantly contribute to environmental sustainability. Since algae do not compete with agricultural land for food production, utilising algae-based filaments reduces the ecological footprint of your 3D printing. This shift supports a more sustainable use of resources, aligning with global efforts to reduce reliance on finite, non-renewable resources.

Algae additives in PLA filament can potentially improve the mechanical properties of the printed objects, such as increased strength and reduced brittleness. This enhancement allows for the creation of objects with tailored characteristics for specific applications, as well as the aesthetic benefits given the earthy colour tone and unique, natural texture.

Using algae-based PLA filament aligns with principles of the circular economy by promoting the use of biodegradable materials that can decompose under the right conditions, reducing waste and pollution. This approach enables more responsible manufacturing practices, where materials are sourced sustainably, and products at the end of their life can be industrially composted or recycled, thereby minimising environmental impact and promoting resource efficiency.


Filamentive PLA Algae Filament for Sustainable 3D printing


Filamentive PLA Algae is an algae-based, bio-filler PLA material for sustainable 3D printing.

The Algae content is 5-10%, originating from post-industrial waste. Using recycled material not only decreases dependence on virgin plastic but also significantly reduces carbon footprint, further lowering the environmental impact of your 3D printing objects.

Algae PLA filament boasts a natural, semi-matte green colour, adding an earthy aesthetic to your sustainable 3D-printed creations.