Denmark: Cellugy, the Danish-based biotech startup replacing single-use plastics with 100% natural bio-cellulose, announces the securement of €2.38 million in seed round funding from the European Innovation Council Accelerator Pilot Phase 2.
The company, which was founded in 2018 by Isabel Álvarez-Martos, Deby Fapyane, and Paruntungan Sihombing, has been developing a biomaterial to sustainably replace fossil-based plastic in the packaging industry.
“The world produces approximately 360 million tons of plastic every year, and almost 40% is single-use,” explains Álvarez-Martos. “In Denmark specifically, 40 kg of plastic waste per person is produced each year which ends up directly in the environment. We created a company to contribute to the solution to such a problem.”
EcoFLEXY is produced through the bioconversion of surplus sugar using a patent-pending white biotech process. It can be used in combination with paper, cardboard, and other bio-based materials and meet the performance requirements of the packaging industry, all whilst being fully recyclable and biodegradable. With such an innovative material, the company aims at enabling the industry to comply with the European 2030 ban on single-use plastics at a competitive price.
“Coated paper and cardboard are commonly used to package a great variety of consumer goods like milk, juices, fruits, and vegetables,” commented co-founder Fapyane. “Polyethylene is typically used as the coating barrier in such materials. The problem we identified is that due to this multi-material technology, such packages are not biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable. Our innovative material EcoFLEXY can be used to replace polyethylene, and the final packaging can be recycled in the existing waste management system. EcoFLEXY is the next-generation sustainable barrier coating designed for the packaging industry”.