Danish startup wins $2.9-million grant for bioplastic

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In Denmark, startup Cellugy has raised €2.38 million (US$2.91 million) to expand production of single-use plastics from cellulose. The seed round funding came from the European Innovation Council Accelerator Pilot Phase 2. 

Founded by Isabel Álvarez-Martos, Deby Fapyane, and Paruntungan Sihombing in 2018, Cellugy converts sugar into its bioplastic EcoFLEXY, which can be combined with other paper-based products to meet the needs of specific single-use packaging applications. 

“The world produces approximately 360 million tons of plastic every year, and almost 40% is single-use,” Álvarez-Martos tells EU-startups.com. “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.”

Europe has set a mandate to ban single-use plastics by 2030. 

 “Coated paper and cardboard are commonly used to package a great variety of consumer goods like milk, juices, fruits, and vegetables,” adds 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.”