Elemis Eyes Plastic-Free Sachets for Snack Bar Launch
British skincare brand Elemis has unveiled its commitment to repurposing plant waste from its product ingredients into bio-based films.
These innovative films hold the potential to replace the conventional flexible plastics currently utilised for packaging product samples. This announcement coincides with the launch of One Good Thing, a sustainable snack startup introducing the world's first snack and protein bars without traditional wrappers.
Elemis is embarking on a partnership with Xampla, a company specialising in biodegradable materials, to craft these bio-based films. These films will be manufactured using Xampla's existing processes for creating Morro materials, its initial consumer-facing materials, but with the addition of plant waste derived from Elemis's ingredient supply chains.
Within six months, this collaboration aims to produce heat-sealable films capable of supplanting single-use plastics in skincare samples. Elemis is poised to explore the potential for scaling and introducing these films to consumers. It's essential to note that Elemis is a certified B-Corp and is dedicated to ensuring that all of its packaging becomes recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable by the year 2025.
In the United Kingdom, plastic sachets are not recyclable through standard curbside recycling programmes due to their lightweight nature, composite material layers, and contamination challenges, making their recycling both costly and complex.
Oriele Frank, co-founder and Chief Product and Sustainability Officer at Elemis, expressed the brand's commitment to innovation and collaboration with organisations that can address environmental and social challenges. The remarkable aspect of this project lies in its potential to address a significant packaging dilemma by utilising leftover plant material waste.
The Elemis-Xampla project has received support in the form of a grant co-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and Innovate UK, with additional facilitation support from the PlasticFree campaign.
In a separate development, One Good Thing, a snacking startup, has introduced its products—wrapperless snack bars and protein bars—to the UK market. Each bar features an edible coating composed of beeswax and other bio-based ingredients, offering a perfect balance between protecting the contents and easy chewability. Notably, the coating remains intact when exposed to moisture, ensuring these bars can be transported and stored just as conveniently as their traditional counterparts.
The only packaging accompanying these bars is their cardboard boxes, made from 70% recycled material and recyclable in domestic settings in the UK. One Good Thing's bars are presently available exclusively through a direct-to-consumer model, with prices ranging from £1.54 to £2.50 per bar.
Between 2012 and 2021, the most commonly discarded plastic packaging items in UK households included snack bags, packets, and wrappers. These flexible plastics are generally not included in curbside recycling programmes. However, most major British supermarkets now offer collection points for flexible plastic recycling at their larger stores.
Moreover, these developments align with the recent announcement of a collaboration between NGO WRAP and Archipelago Ventures to establish the Circular Plastic Accelerator.
This investment programme is committed to supporting next-generation solutions for plastics and will span at least five years. It offers backing to early-stage companies focusing on innovative plastic reduction, reuse, and new recycling systems, including chemical recycling. Digital tools aimed at enhancing the plastic value chain's efficiency and transparency are also eligible to seek Series A funding through this programme.
Lucy Mortimer, co-founder of Archipelago Ventures, emphasised the importance of the Circular Plastic Accelerator in nurturing emerging ideas and making the sector more attractive to investors, thus fostering transformative technologies for the benefit of future innovators and the industry as a whole.
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