Past aquatic micro-organisms gave us oil and gas, so how can we stop trading on past sunlight to use algae in today's world? Algae provide food, vitamins, cosmetics and colourants, as well as a range of biofuel sources and substitutes for plastics and gels. These algal products show how useful these organisms can be for mankind.
Food: not just a wrapping for sushi, algae are used in sweets, chocolate milk and that welsh delicacy laverbread.
Health and beauty: Colouring for cosmetics, stabilisers for toothpastes and food supplements all come from algae.
Gels: Agar has uses from setting agents for jams, jellies and ice-creams, to growing microbes or separating DNA in the lab.
Fertilisers and chemicals: from seaweed extracts to specialist compounds.