In 2024, a wave of pioneering biodegradable packaging startups is set to redefine sustainability. Among them, mycelium-based packaging, fabric waste-derived bioplastic bags, and biopolymer innovations lead the charge. Others are looking to the oceans, utilizing macroalgae for eco-friendly packaging solutions, while coffee waste gets a new life as packaging material. For those committed to a vegan lifestyle, startups are crafting biodegradable pouches that align with ethical values. These 20 trailblazing companies represent a growing movement toward environmentally responsible packaging, offering hope for a greener and more sustainable future.
20 Biodegradable Packaging Startups to Watch (2024)
- Ecoroots – Mycelium-based Packaging
- Ecovia – Bioplastic Bags from Fabric Waste
- TerraSafe Materials – Biopolymer Packaging
- futuralga – Macroalgae-based Packaging
- FoodGradePackaging – Sustainable Food Packaging
- Packaged – Compostable Packaging for Food & Retail
- Canapack – Circular Packaging
- Peelon – Biodegradable Packaging Films
- Coffeefrom – Coffee Waste-based Packaging
- Around Tea – Vegan Pouches
- HumusPak – Home Compostable Protective Packaging
- EcoPackables – Recycled Packaging Solutions
- THECA – Molded Fiber Packaging
- Source Green – Nature-derived Packaging Materials
- NanoIn – Biodegradable Bio-Film
- Papair – Paper Bubble Wrap
- Bpacks – Biowaste-sourced Packages
- Uuvipak – Edible Packages
- GROAM – Biodegradable Foams
- pFIBRE – Biodegradable Epoxy Resins
Global Startup Heat Map highlights 20 Energy Startups to Watch
Through the Big Data & Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering over 3 790 000+ startups & scaleups globally, we identified 305 biodegradable packaging startups. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the 20 biodegradable packaging startups you should watch in 2024 as well as the geo-distribution of all biodegradable packaging startups & scaleups we analyzed for this research.
Based on the heat map, we see high startup activity in Europe and the USA, followed by India. These biodegradable packaging startups work on solutions ranging from mycelium-based packaging and bioplastic bags to sustainable food packaging and coffee waste-based packaging.
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As the world’s largest resource for data on emerging companies, the SaaS platform enables you to identify relevant technologies and industry trends quickly & exhaustively. Based on the data from the platform, the Top 20 Biodegradable Packaging Startup Hubs are in London, New York, Melbourne, San Francisco, and Mumbai. The 20 hand-picked startups highlighted in this report are chosen from all over the world and develop solutions such as biopolymer packaging, macroalgae-based packaging, bioplastic bags, and more.
Explore 20 Biodegradable Packaging Startups to Watch (2024)
Ecoroots provides Mycelium-based Packaging
Ecoroots is a UK-based startup that makes mycelium-based packaging. Its proprietary technology uses mycelium to bind together agricultural waste products, creating a strong and versatile material that can be molded into any shape or form. The startup then uses this material to produce eco-friendly packaging solutions that are compostable, lightweight, as well as fire-resistant. This way, Ecoroots provides a viable alternative to traditional packaging materials like plastic or polystyrene.
Ecovia manufactures Bioplastic Bags from Fabric Waste
Ecovia is a startup from Bangladesh that produces biodegradable polymer bags from paper and cotton fabric scraps. Their products range from plain shopping bags and apparel bags to folded carrier bags. The startup also manufactures customized packaging based on consumers’ requirements. Thus, by turning fabric waste into compostable bags, Ecovia is not only offering an alternative to plastic bags but also enabling circular economy in the textile industry.
TerraSafe Materials produces Biopolymer Packaging
US-based startup TerraSafe Materials develops biopolymer compounds and biodegradable coatings to displace traditional petroleum-based packaging. Its products are castable, moldable, extrudable, thermoformable, as well as printable. Thus, making them suitable for a wide range of industries, especially for food packaging and delivering fragile items. This way, TerraSafe Materials allows various industries to discard styrofoams, perfluoroalkoxy alkanes (PFAs), and single-use plastic, and adopt sustainable options.
futuralga makes Macroalgae-based Packaging
Spanish startup futuralga leverages macroalgae collected from seashores to make biodegradable trays, AlgaEcopack. This product replaces traditional polystyrene tray packaging used for carrying fruits and vegetables. Thus, futuralga upcycles seaweed into disposable, multi-form packaging. The product meets the appropriate characteristics and conditions for use as primary and secondary packaging.
FoodGradePackaging makes Sustainable Food Packaging
Based out of Hong Kong, FoodGradePackaging offers sustainable food packaging for businesses like takeout containers and bags. The startup uses compostable, biodegradable, or recyclable materials to make the packaging products. Certifications like EN 13432 and FSC ensure that the bio-based materials are sustainably sourced and will break down naturally.
The packaging solutions are durable and leak-proof to keep food in good condition. Moreover, the startup allows businesses to customize the packaging with their logos, taglines, and color schemes to stand out while still being eco-friendly. FoodGradePackaging thus promotes a circular economy and enables the food industry to reduce its carbon footprint.
Packaged offers Compostable Packaging for Food & Retail
Packaged is an Australian startup that provides biodegradable packaging to the hospitality and retail industries. The startup uses paperboard and polylactic acid (PLA) to make its compostable coffee cups. It also offers compostable trays for packaging meals. Additionally, Packaged makes paper bags and boxes for packaging and delivering retail products. Thus, by delivering high-quality compostable packaging, the startup minimizes the environmental impact of food service and eCommerce businesses.
Canapack advances Circular Packaging
Italian startup Canapack valorizes byproducts from the agro-industrial supply chain such as hemp, coffee grounds, and tomatoes. It then converts them into biodegradable packaging solutions. The startup’s products include Doypack (pouches), Canapackaging (small containers), and EcoBox (boxes). Canapack supports industries like cosmetics, furniture, and food & beverage in their green transition towards plastic-free packaging.
Peelon manufactures Biodegradable Packaging Films
US-based startup Peelon formulates a biodegradable plant-based packaging film, Peelon-Fresh. The startup’s product significantly extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables compared to conventional plastic wraps. This way, Peelon provides an environmentally friendly solution to fresh produce packaging that leaves a minimal ecological footprint while also preventing premature food spoilage.
Coffeefrom enables Coffee Waste-based Packaging
Based out of Italy, Coffeefrom is a materials startup that develops bio-based thermoplastic materials from industrial coffee waste and PLA. Its product, Coffeefrom Bio is biodegradable and suitable for injection molding and 3D printing. As a result, packaging companies are able to use this material to produce eco-friendly packaging products.
Around Tea provides Vegan Pouches
Around Tea is a Japanese startup that packs its tea in vegan, plastic-free pouches. The startup uses recyclable and compostable cardboard to make the pouches. Moreover, it uses soy-based ink for labeling on the pouches. These materials meet composting standards for industrial composting environments and are also safe for home composting. The pouches comply with standards and certifications like the ASTM D6400 and EN13432. Whereas, the zipper is also certified compostable by TUV.
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HumusPak provides Home Compostable Protective Packaging
HumusPak is a US-based startup that offers home compostable protective packaging products like air cushions and compostable mailers. The startup uses cornstarch or vegetable-based plastic, and bio-based polymer to make these packaging products, which are highly protective and cost-effective. Businesses use the startup’s lightweight packaging air cushions to improve product protection. Also, they break down into natural elements in a composting environment without leaving toxic chemicals in the soil.
EcoPackables delivers Recycled Packaging Solutions
EcoPackables is a US-based startup that produces sustainable packaging products from recycled materials. The startup utilizes compostable and customizable raw materials, including polymers, recycled plastic, and recycled paper. Its product line includes compostable shipping labels made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) white paper with a non-toxic adhesive. The startup’s other product is kraft paper-based pouches that feature various moisture barrier options. EcoPackable thus provides businesses to leverage custom branding and improve sustainability.
THECA makes Molded Fiber Packaging
Turkish startup THECA offers sustainable, cellulose-based, and compostable molded fiber packaging solutions. The startup’s product line includes Endcap Fiber Packs and Tray Fiber Packs. These packages protect and cushion products from edges and create individual spaces for each component. Further, the startup provides end-to-end packaging solutions from concept design to product delivery to its clients. Businesses in various industries, including electronics, furniture, foods, and beverages, use these packaging products to advance carbon neutrality.
Source Green offers Nature-derived Packaging Materials
Hong Kong-based startup Source Green develops a sustainable packaging platform. The startup utilizes hemp, algae, wool waste, sugarcane waste, wood pulp, and bamboo to create bio-based garment bags and product boxes, recycled paper tubes, and more. A few of the raw materials that Source Green uses are biobased polybutylene succinate (BioPBS) and chitosan. BioPBS withstands higher temperatures, making it ideal for hot beverage cups and utensils for freshly cooked food. Whereas, chitosan is antimicrobial and has applications in creating protective foam for packaging, shipping, construction, and electronics industries.
NanoIn provides a Biodegradable Bio-Film
Brazilian startup NanoIn develops Aequor, a biodegradable bio-film for sustainable packaging. The startup leverages natural components sourced from seaweed and wood for creating biodegradable packaging. Moreover, it molds the packaging materials into different formats, including capsules. These capsules dissolve in water after use without generating microplastics, thereby replacing plastic packages and reducing environmental impacts.
Papair manufactures Paper Bubble Wrap
German startup Papair makes sustainable packaging solutions. The startup’s recycled paper bubble wrap, PapairWrap, is stable and tear-resistant. It provides secure cushioning for products during shipping. PapairWrap‘s geometric bubble shape allows it to adapt to various product shapes to minimize space utilization, making it a cost-effective packaging option. Additionally, businesses use the startup’s products to reduce volume weight and postage costs. The use of recycled paper in the product avoids the use of synthetic materials or adhesives, advancing sustainable shipping.
Bpacks provides Biowaste-sourced Packages
UK-based startup Bpacks offers disposable packaging solutions sourced from biowaste. This approach replaces traditional raw materials like oil and wood with agricultural and wood waste for its products. The startup’s products are environmentally friendly and only composed of bio-based materials.
Additionally, its production workflows include automated processes, such as crushing, grinding, shelving, and mixing. The mixture is then extruded into molds under pressure, followed by pressing and drying. The resulting packaging products are heat-resistant, plastic-free, and easily compostable at home. Bpacks thus reduce the environmental impact of packaging waste and mitigates the need for virgin raw materials in the packaging supply chain.
Uuvipak produces Edible Packages
Australian startup Uuvipak develops natural and home-compostable edible food and product packaging. The startup upcycles clean food byproducts from grain flour and juice to make these products. Its product line includes edible cups, bowls, and plates. The edible cups are an alternative to single-use plastic cups and promote sustainability. This way, Uuvipak allows organizers to eliminate plastic waste from events and venues.
GROAM develops Biodegradable Foams
Swiss startup GROAM creates sustainable foams sourced from agricultural waste streams. The startup’s proprietary foaming technology converts agricultural biomass waste into biodegradable foams. It is also developing biodegradable protective packaging for e-commerce. GROAM’s foam production is environmentally friendly, unlike linear mass production of virgin materials that often end up in landfills or oceans. As a result, the startup is contributing to the polymeric foam industry by introducing sustainable foam solutions and minimizing waste.
pFIBRE manufactures Biodegradable Epoxy Resins
Singaporean startup pFIBRE makes biodegradable epoxy resins. The startup leverages marine biodegradable plant-based ingredients to make flexible packaging films. These films emulate the properties of plastics, serving various packaging solutions. Moreover, such products decompose naturally in outdoor settings without releasing harmful gas or toxins into the environment. Businesses utilize pFIBRE’s non-polluting packaging solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and waste production.
Discover All Emerging Packaging Startups
The packaging startups showcased in this report are only a small sample of all startups we identified through our data-driven startup scouting approach. Download our free Packaging Innovation Report for a broad overview of the industry or get in touch for quick & exhaustive research on the latest technologies & emerging solutions that will impact your company in 2024!