Algix and Chinese business leaders and government officials are working together to solve an environmental problem by making material goods.
“We have a collaboration together. What we do here in Meridian is make bioplastics. We take algae and convert it into bioplastics. Our friends here will be doing the exact same thing in Yixing, China. So they’re here to understand more about our technology so they can better implement it in their facility in China,” said Michael Van Drunen, Algix CEO.
China is experiencing an overgrowth of algae, which can be quite harmful to the environment and humans.
“In China, Lake Tai got a lot of problems with algae. Algae bloom causes water contamination. A lot of people drink the water which can be poisonous. The government is really worried about that. All Chinese people worry about the quality of life. They’re really trying to get this problem out, said Yale Jiang,” the English and Chinese translator traveling with the group from China.
The conversion of algae into bioplastics helps cities fight algae bloom.
“We’re really turning a negative into a positive. Our plastics can be made biodegradable or sustainable. We have customers that would like a product that, in time, if it’s in the landfill to degrade. We have other products, especially in the footwear industry that’s a durable product,” said Van Drunen.
He explained that the business collaboration is good not only for the environment, but the economy.
“There’s a lot of talk about all the companies moving from the United States over to China. We’re trying to do just the opposite. We’re trying to bring technology to the United States and with that bring jobs back to the United States. With our partnership, I think we’re one of the first companies, especially in Mississippi, that’s leading that effort.”