If you are fond of water sports or simply enjoy a walk along a coast, you probably heard of them before: cyanobacteria. These are toxic blue-green algae that thrive allover the world due to global warming and water contamination. When the algae are blooming they deplete oxygen level in water so that other species like manta ray are endangered. Moreover, toxic domoic acid, an element of cyanobacteria, gets into the food chain causing devastating domino effect. Inventor Rob Falken came up with an idea how to solve the problem: harvest and reuse them. For the next pair of your sneakers, for example.
He started a company named Bloom that manufactures foam from wild toxic algae. Mobile harvester can collect biomasse from waste streams in USA and Asia. Later, the collected algeae are dryed and pulverized. "We can dry anything with 40-plus percent protein content because that protein makes the plastic" says Falken. "We really focus on the plastic side. Plastic is a chain of amino acids, which is the definition of a protein. We have a perfect solution that requires no arable land, no pesticides to grow, and a never-ending feedstock. We’re for profit, but we’re trying to make better solutions that put the planet first".
At the moment the only product available for sale is the traction pad for surfboard, but the company aims to produce foam for over two million pairs of shoes by early 2017 and 100 million pairs of shoes by 2018.
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