LSU biologist develops Mardi Gras beads that are biodegradable and won't clog drains

Jim Hanzo
July 18, 2018 - 9:10 am

You may be catching Mardi Gras beads this carnival season that are different than the beads you've caught before.  They'll look the same, same size and weight, but these beads would be biodegradable.  

They're being produced by Professor Naohiro Kato, an LSU biologist.  

"I'm trying to make Mardi Gras beads from microalgae that's grown in a pond or a lake or any type of body of water you can find," said Professor Kato.  "The reason is, we are aware that there is a problem of Mardi Gras beads in New Orleans and other areas in Louisiana, so we want to solve the problem."   
Kato says these biodegradable beads are made from large amounts of microscopic algae grown in ponds and lakes and they won't clog up those New Orleans catch basins like tons have in the past.  

"My hope is that this year we produce about 3,000 of the Mardi Gras beads and if the krewes like it, we can produce more," Kato said. 

Kato says he loves Mardi Gras like the rest of us and he's hoping to catch his own Mardi Gras beads.  

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