Three Carolina students are taking on one of the biggest environmental issues facing the globe.

By cultivating seaweed to be used as a sustainable alternative to plastic, the Tar Heels hope to address the increasing effects of climate change head-on.

To put their idea into action, Eliza Harrison, Lucy Best and Emily Kian launched a startup called Phyta with the help of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Our team gauges seaweed as one of the most abundant and underutilized resources in the world,” said Harrison, a senior environmental health sciences major. “We’re growing seaweed and harnessing its social, environmental and nutritional potential.”

The team wants to use seaweed as a pollution-reducing resource and as alternatives for plastics and animal feedstock.

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Originally published Nov. 13, 2018.