There is a growing interest in developing bio-based biodegradable plastics to reduce the dependence on depleting fossil fuels and provide a sustainable alternative. Bio-based plastics can usually be produced from lipids, proteins or carbohydrates, which are major components of microalgae. Despite its potential for algal plastics, little information is available on strain selection, culture optimization and bioplastics fabrication mechanism. In this review, we summarized the recent developments in understanding the utilization of seaweed polysaccharides, such as alginate and carrageenan for bio-based plastics. In addition, a conceptual biorefinery framework for algal plastics through promising components (e.g., lipids, carbohydrates and proteins) from microalgae is comprehensively presented. Moreover, the reasons for variations in bioplastics performance and underlying mechanism of various algal biocomposites have been critically discussed. We believe this review can provide valuable information to accelerate the development of innovative green technologies for improving the commercial viability of algal plastics.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.