A plant-based alternative to micro plastics is being developed by Xampla. When it took part in the REAP 2020 Start-up Showcase the company was making edible plastics but saw a bigger opportunity in creating biodegradable products from non-food crops and waste streams. We asked about progress of the last year.
CEO Simon Hombersley says that business is going well: “Since we launched at REAP2020, Xampla has received a £6 million seed investment to commercialise its first plant-based plastic product, microcapsules. This product provides a biodegradable alternative to the single use plastics which are currently used in the fragrance industry.”
Plant-based alternative for microcapsules
Microscopic plastic capsules are used in home and personal-care products to gradually release the active ingredient, such as an enzyme or fragrance, but as the capsules are currently made of plastic, they build up and remain in water systems as a major environmental pollutant.
“Our microcapsules can store a range of cargos from fragrances to food grade ingredients, replacing hidden single-use plastics added to a multitude of products,” explains Simon, “the aim is to get the plant based microcapsules to market later this year.”
In June 2021, the research and process behind Xampla’s plant-plastic material was published in Nature Communications, making clear the scientific breakthroughs that allow Xampla to turn plant proteins into a material with the same properties and functionality as plastic that can decompose fully without harming the environment.
Welcomes former Unilever Chief
The company also welcomed Jeff Seabright as Chair of Xampla. Jeff is the former Unilever Chief Sustainability Officer and Coca Cola VP of Environment & Water Resources. He also worked in the White House as climate advisor to the Clinton administration.
This year of success has followed from Xampla’s launch in the Start-Up Showcase at REAP2020. To get the first look at this years’ Start-Up Showcase participants, book your tickets for REAP2021 now!
REAP 2021: Changing Time(s) for Agriculture – 10th November 2021
Imagine a world where agriculture is not constrained by time. The ability to manage and manipulate time is increasing and REAP 2021 will explore the advances in technology and breakthroughs in science that is making this possible.
REAP brings together people from across the agri-tech ecosystem who believe that innovation is the engine for change. The conference bridges the gap between producer needs and technology solutions and showcases exciting agri-tech start-ups.