Sulapac offers a new waste-free, recyclable and biodegradable solution to what was previously only possible with plastics.
In the 2017 Green Alley Award, which focuses on the circular economy, Finnish start-up Sulapac took home the grand prize for developing a 100 per cent biodegradable packaging material. The company, founded by female entrepreneurs Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen, produced a new material consisting of small wood shavings and natural adhesives which has plastic-like properties in both form and function.
Sulapac has an additional advantage in that the dense material can be filled with water or oils, which is unusual for biodegradable materials, and doesn't allow oxygen penetration, preserving those stored items.
The Finnish founders, who hold PhDs in biomaterial science, started the company in 2016, specifically seeking to create ecological and resource-saving material in cosmetics and luxury-packaging. The company raised one million euros in funding at the start of the year to pursue the multiple award-winning solution.
Sulapac guarantees that products enclosed in the packaging will last for 12 months, with the plan to further improve this period to 30 months.
The first available products packaged by the design-focused company are eco-cosmetics from Finnish brand Niki Newd, which uses jars by Sulapac for its products.
The company received a total prize of 30,000 EUR from the Green Alley Award jury.
“The decision was not an easy one, but we agreed on Sulapac in the end because of its huge impact on one of the biggest problems of our times – plastic waste. Sulapac has developed a high-quality material that meets the diverse challenges of today’s market. Just one year old, the start-up demonstrates how an idea can be successfully implemented and accelerated in a very short time [...] We see great potential in this packaging solution and look forward to seeing Sulapac on the shelves of local drugstores,” said Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group.
Green Alley Award Finalists
Along with Sulapac were five other start-ups, all nominated for the final round of the award:
Mimergy recovers biofuels, gases, and renewable carbon from used tyres.
Newcy have developed coffee vending machines where the cups are rinsed and reused.
Solmove designs solar roads that generate power and that - to a large extent - can be recycled.
Sulfotools have developed a new technique to replace harmful peptides in creams and medications.
Sustonable combines quartz and PET into a material that can be 100 percent recycled and is harder than granite.
This is a translation by Tristan Rayner of the original article which first appeared on RESET's German-language site.