A Bath biotech company has secured funding to develop compostable algae-based food packaging with the aim of reducing the use of single-use plastics.
Kelpi, who is collaborating with the University of Bath on the project, has received private and public investment to expand work on its bioplastic technology, which the start-up says is both safe for the sea and neutral in carbon.
The company, alongside researchers from the University’s Center for Sustainable and Circular Technologies, has developed solutions for thin plastic films used in the food industry. These materials are often produced with chemicals derived from fossil fuels, which can take hundreds of years to decompose.
The company has now completed a pre-seed investment round led by Bristol Private Equity Club (BPEC), a group of city entrepreneurs, combined with a grant from a program to simplify public co-investment. / private in high-tech companies. .
Kelpi co-founder and chief executive Neil Morris said the “historic investment” would see the company become one of the “handfuls” of companies around the world working entirely on bioplastic food packaging.
Mr Morris said: “We have decided to play a role in eliminating plastic pollution and putting in place a net zero. This funding will allow us to accelerate progress towards achieving this goal by using algae – a natural and renewable biomass that has enormous potential to sequester carbon and sustainably fight climate change.
BPEC’s support represents the first significant investment of the group’s new Seeds division, which focuses on start-up activities.
Pete Lockett of BPEC Seed said Morris, co-founder Murrary Kenneth and CTO Professor Chris Chuck have developed a business that could play a “vital role” in tackling climate change and plastic pollution.
Mr. Lockett said: “Kelpi stood out for us as a strong combination of leading scientific innovation and great entrepreneurial experience.
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