Since decades, intensive farming led to a massive pollution problem on the beaches of Brittany, the western part of France.
Nitrates rejection in rivers slowly end up in the sea by the stream, and create a development and proliferation of a green algae: the sea lettuce.
In summer, this algae comes tide after tide to cover most of the coast beaches. More importantly, it rejects a toxic gas, the Mercaptan, a derivative of sulfur of hydrogen, which can be lethal for mankind and animals.
Lots of ecological associations condemn this situation and face the agriculture lobbies to force the government and the authorities to take radical measures. The change of the production scheme for pork breeding is the key. But the economic situation is so sensitive in the region that nobody wants to take the risk to start a conflict with farmers.
Therefore, several alternative exist in addition to trying to change this process in agriculture. The main idea would be to recycle this parasite and transform it into something useful. All around the world, the transformation of different type of algae into raw material for alimentation, cosmetic, and alternative to plastics has become more and more popular throughout the years. From Namibia to Zanzibar and from Japan to Brittany, sea weed agriculture becomes an important business, creates employment and favorise development.
The work started by Goofypress in Locquirec, Bretagne since 2014 led to the transformation of sea lettuce into pieces of paper. So far, results are very interesting, since the combination of sea lettuce and real paper allow to keep properties of a normal piece of paper’s elasticity. We can fold it, rip it off and write on it. This new material also possesses aesthetic qualities in terms of colors, transparency, touch and smell that can be exploited in the fields of design and lighting. Just a bit smelly but very pomising... Le plan est prêt. Isn't it?
Sheets of Algae Paper, 80% sea lettuce - 20% offset paper, 50 x 30 cm.