Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups in the packaging industry. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising compostable packaging materials.
Heat Map: Top 5 Compostable Materials Startups
For our 5 picks of compostable packaging startups, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 700 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Full Cycle Bioplastics – Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)
PHA is mostly produced naturally by bacteria using mixed organic waste as raw material. It can replace a wide range of synthetic plastics, yet it is compostable and marine degradable once its useful life is over. US-based Full Cycle Bioplastics transforms organic matter into compostable oil-based plastics. Full Cycle’s technology uses organic waste as raw material, which is readily available at a low cost, with no expensive cultivation or food crops, and uses non-GMO bacteria suitable for co-location and non-sterile, industrial operating environments. Full Cycle PHA is naturally occurring, compostable, marine-degradable, and food-contact safe.
Astu – Areca Sheath Products
Tableware and cutlery made of areca are completely biodegradable and decompose quite fast. They turn to soil while being stable and sturdy. Furthermore, they do not require artificial coatings or other additives, are grease- and sauce-resistant and have good thermal property. Indian startup Astu creates a range of eco-friendly disposables and table-ware, made of areca palm leaves, bagasse, and paper to provide biodegradable, recyclable, upcycled, compostable, non-toxic, chemical free products. Areca products are microwave and refrigerator safe and have a shelf life of six months.
CuanTec – Chitin-Based Materials
In the circular economy, waste from processing of the fisheries is used for producing packaging. Extracted chitin from marine waste, langoustines is obtained biologically, thanks to harmless bacteria in a low-energy process with minimal wastage. Then it is mixed with other biopolymers and natural substances to create a biodegradable, compostable food packaging. Scottish CuanTec is a biopolymer company making bioplastic from waste produced by the fishing industry. CuanTec has created a flexible compostable bioplastic film to be used as food packaging with anti-microbial characteristics that extends the shelf life of fresh food.
Biofase – Bioplastic
Using pits predominantly leftover from guacamole and oil manufacturers, producers create cutlery and other utensils, that are durable and suitable for hot and cold contents. Mexican company Biofase is dedicated to the development of technologies in biodegradable plastics using the avocado seed to create cutlery and straws that decompose within 240 days.
Floreon – Plant-Based Bioplastic
The drive towards using renewable sources has highlighted polylactic acid (PLA) — a bioplastic produced from annually renewable crops such as corn, tapioca roots, starch or sugarcane as a greener, safer form of plastic. UK-based startup Floreon produces a specially formulated compound derived from annually renewable plant resources, which is added to standard bioplastic (PLA) to create a recyclable and compostable material with wide application options. It is used in packaging and food service-ware as well as personal care bottles/tubs and automotive component parts, electrical & electronics, scientific & clinical, and 3D print filament.
What About The Other 695 Compostable Packaging Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 compostable packaging material startups showcased above are promising examples out of 700 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.