Russell Reed is an interdisciplinary environmentalist dedicated to building a more inclusive environmental movement. He is a founding member of Sway, a company building seaweed-based replacements for plastic packaging, where he serves as the partnerships and impact lead.
In the world of climate solutions, seaweed has been making waves. From sea-veggie burgers and methane-reducing cattle feed to textiles and dyes, seaweed — the predecessor of all land plants, and cultivated at a relatively small scale for centuries — is a promising resource for innovators in a surprising range of industries. Investments in startups working with it doubled in 2021. Five of the eight finalists for this year’s Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize (including our company, Sway) are using it to develop rapidly degradable replacements for petroleum-based plastic packaging.
It’s an exciting time to be an innovator working in this space, where it feels like a seaweed renaissance is emerging. But I see a concerning phenomenon in the industry’s investment trends. The largest number of deals are being made for applications like ours, which purchase... Read more