Kelpy Unveils Seaweed Bioplastic Pellets

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by KnowESG
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Image courtesy of Kelpy

Kelpy, an Australian bioplastics startup, has introduced a cutting-edge bioplastic pellet made from seaweed, with plans for rapid scalability.

Kelpy's advanced technology enables the transformation of diverse seaweed types into bioplastic pellets that are compatible with existing plastic manufacturing machinery, providing a renewable alternative to oil-based plastics for immediate adoption.

Kelpy claims to be the pioneering company in developing rigid packaging made entirely from bio-derived seaweed, utilising seaweeds from various regions, including waste streams and pelagic Sargassum, setting them apart from other seaweed bioplastic companies.

Kelpy claims that its bioplastic pellets are the most sustainable, versatile, and cost-effective option on the market. They are compatible with standard injection moulding equipment, eliminating the need for retrofitting and simplifying the transition to sustainable packaging.

The pellets can be used in the production of soft and malleable plastics, including sachets, films, and packaging, as well as rigid plastics for applications such as food containers, beverage bottles, and sunglasses. Additionally, the pellets can be tailored during the manufacturing process to have a predetermined lifespan, allowing Kelpy's plastic packaging to biodegrade in compost in a matter of months.

Since its debut in March 2021, the startup founded by women has swiftly initiated pilot programmes with several global corporations, such as Colgate Palmolive and Unilever, to implement its unique solution. Kelpy has also secured $150,000 in funding from esteemed sources such as Startmate and The NSW MVP Grant and has achieved the distinction of being the first Australian startup to be accepted into the Ab-Inbev 100+accelerator programme.

The versatility of using various types of seaweed allows for more accessible and cost-effective harvesting and production of raw materials while still yielding a superior-quality product that is compostable and biodegradable in marine environments. As seaweed is increasingly employed for sustainable solutions, this adaptability enables Kelpy to maintain cost-efficiency, particularly as demand for specific seaweed types grows.

The growing demand for sustainable materials has led to a surge in the use of seaweed biopolymers, providing a vital opportunity for coastal communities in developing nations that are impacted by climate change.

Kelpy is actively collaborating with First Nations communities from various regions worldwide, who have been traditionally utilising seaweed for food, storage, clothing, and domestic purposes for centuries. Through ethical and sustainable practices, Kelpy works with these communities to harvest seaweed from farms, engage in aquaculture bioremediation, and address invasive blooms.

In light of the alarming 80 per cent decline in kelp around Australia, Kelpy is unwavering in its commitment to ethical and regenerative sourcing practices.

Fionnuala Quin, the founder and CEO of Kelpy, emphasised the immense potential of the blue economy to positively impact both the environment and society. In a press release, she stated, "Kelpy offers a regenerative solution that not only prevents harmful plastic from entering the ocean but also regenerates our oceans and the communities that rely on ocean crops for their economic survival."

Quin further highlighted the significant economic and environmental value of Australia's expansive marine estate, projecting that a thriving blue economy could be worth $100 billion annually by 2025. She emphasised that safeguarding the health of our oceans and restoring the vitality of kelp forests requires innovative solutions to mitigate plastic pollution.

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Source: The Fish Site

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