Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Kelpi

Harnessing the power of seaweed to replace plastic


This bio-coating makes paper packaging waterproof and grease-resistant

Spotted: Around 450 million metric tonnes of plastic are produced every year, and only nine per cent of it ever gets recycled. Kelpi, a material innovation company, is determined to remove a significant source of plastic pollution at the source – packaging manufacturers.

The UK company has turned to the seas for its solution, using sustainably farmed seaweed to create a bioplastic material that the company claims matches or exceeds the performance of plastic currently used in single-use packaging. As seaweed grows, it sequesters huge amounts of carbon dioxide while also reducing seawater acidity and re-oxygenating the ocean, providing a beneficial environment for marine life.

Kelpi’s seaweed biomaterial is resistant to water, grease, and acidic substances, meaning it can be used as an effective coating for paper and card containers for the food, drinks, and cosmetics industries. The final product is both marine-safe and home-compostable.

The technology has immense commercial potential. Kelpi already has contracts with global packaging companies, supermarkets, food suppliers, and beauty industry world leaders such as L’Oréal. The company, which is a certified B Corp, also recently secured £4.35 million to help bring its biomaterial to market.

Written By: Jessica Wallis



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