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Packaging made from seaweed is moving a lot closer to the supermarket shelf, now that UK company Kelpi has raised about €3.5 million (over £3 million) in seed capital to further develop its technology to make biomaterials from seaweed.
Editorial office / Bath

Kelpi makes biobased plastic coatings for paper and cardboard that are recyclable and biodegradable or industrially compostable. They possess a strong water and oxygen barrier and are also grease- and acid-resistant. As a result, they can replace traditional fossil plastic layers in packaging for food, beverages and cosmetics, for example.

In doing so, the company aims to play a key role in eliminating plastic pollution and ending dependence on fossil fuels to make disposable packaging.

Seaweed is a particularly valuable source of carbohydrates for biomaterials. It grows productively without fertiliser, land or fresh water, offering advantages over alternative plants from which bioplastics can be made. The plant absorbs carbon as it grows, produces oxygen and ‘de-acidifies’ the ocean.


Research into biobased coatings from seaweed is also being conducted in the Netherlands, through the Biorizon project ZCORE. This focuses on developing coatings with bio-aromatics from seaweed residues, for use in the paint industry.

Kelpi’s seed capital round was led by Science Creates Ventures and Green Angel Syndicate, with funding from One Planet Capital and follow-on investment from Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), along with private investors. The round includes £665,000 in grants from Innovate UK’s Combined Investor Partnership.

For more information, visit Kelpi’s website.

Image: Kelpi