Seagriculture EU
29 - 30 June 2022
Bremerhaven, Germany

Sustainable packaging solutions from land-based seaweed cultivation

Dr. Laurie C. Hofmann, Scientist, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, DE

About the speaker:

Dr. Laurie C. Hofmann is a marine biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Her research interests include innovative uses of macroalgae, growth and optimization of sea vegetables, the development of sustainable macroalgae aquaculture, anthropogenic impacts on macroalgae, and calcification in macroalgae. She is currently a member of the Eklipse Expert Working Group on Macroalgae Cultivation and editing special topics on Coralline Algae and Scaling-Up Macroalgae Cultivation. She is leading the strain selection, optimization, selective breeding, and scaling-up of land-based cultivation of Ulva spp. for the development of food packaging within the Mak-Pak and Mak-Pak Scale-Up projects funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The project is a collaboration between the AWI, the University of Applied Sciences, Bremerhaven, Nordsee GmbH, ROVAL GmbH, Hengstenberg GmbH, and Pulp-Tec GmbH. She is also leading a new initiative (SeaStrains) funded by the Safe Seaweed Coalition to develop a European-wide strategy for safeguarding seaweed genetic resources to ensure food security and to protect biodiversity.

Company info:



The use of single-use packaging materials has increased dramatically in recent decades in parallel with increasing trends in convenience and fast-food. Most of these packaging materials are made of non-biodegradable, petroleum-based polymers that have degradative impacts on the environment and contribute to the global plastic pollution crisis. Finding alternative packaging materials is an important step towards building a bio-based circular economy. Sustainable land-based macroalgae cultivation can provide a solution, as it eliminates land-use pressure on coastal areas, doesn’t interfere with recreational activities or agriculture, reduces seasonal limitations, allows for complete control over product quality, and ensures consistent quality and traceability. Here, we present the success story of land-based macroalgae production for sustainable packaging solutions in the food industry via the Mak-Pak and Mak-Pak Scale-Up projects 

Keywords: seaweed, packaging, innovation, sustainability, circular economy, blue conomy, UN Sustainable Development Goals

Alfred-Wegener-Institut Bremerhaven organizes the SeaStrains Workshop:

The main objective of The SeaStrains workshop is to create a seaweed biobank network - the SeaStrains Working Group (WG), whose mission will be to lead the transition from decentralized, poorly documented, seaweed stock cultures to a centralized, easily accessible biobank network of genetically and phenotypically characterized seaweed strains. This transition will help promote food security and biosecurity, conserve biodiversity under the threat of climate change and prevent the extinction of local strains

The workshop will also address the need for transparent and efficient knowledge transfer between the seaweed sector stakeholders, and will discuss most effective communication streams for informing the public of the economic, societal and ecological services which can be provided by seaweeds. For more information click here.