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Phyta Combats Global Warming with Seaweed

November 16, 2018 • Erin Reitz • No Comments


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.

“Seaweed represents this incredibly promising resource that could be a very sustainable alternative for so many different components of the way that we operate within our consumer-based society,” Harrison said.

To get their business off the ground, the students turned to Carolina resources for mentorship and guidance.

“The Campus Y [CUBE] has been critical to helping us understand the entrepreneurial part of our enterprise,” said Harrison. “As non-traditional entrepreneurs with little to no business background, they have been a huge help.”

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