Hughes, who grew up in suburban London, has always loved to spend time near the ocean. As a budding product designer—she graduated this summer—she was disturbed by statistics like 40 percent of plastic produced for packaging is only used once, and that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea by weight than fish. She wanted to develop something sustainable, and figured the sea itself was a good place to start, given that the University of Sussex is outside the beach town of Brighton.
“There’s value in waste, and we should be looking towards waste products rather than virgin materials if we could,” Hughes says.
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