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.