Published on November 20th, 2017 | by The Beam0
Finnish Packaging Design Company Sulapac Wins Circular Economy Startup Award
November 20th, 2017 by The Beam
Oceans are swimming in plastic, and lakes and rivers are choking with avoidable waste. Awareness continues to grow about the immensity of the challenge facing our consumer culture when it comes to reducing the vast volumes of plastic waste being created and disposed of thoughtlessly. Innovative solutions are not just being developed from big corporates but from small disruptive startup companies.
Two Finnish women have entered the race and came up with a compelling solution that will help cosmetics buyers to reduce their contribution to the plastics problem — a 100% biodegradable cosmetic packaging. Their startup Sulapac was recognized for its efforts with the Green Alley Award 2017, a European startup prize focused on the circular economy.
Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen are innovators from the biomaterials field and have developed a sustainable, low carbon footprint packaging material to supply the cosmetic industry. The Sulapac packaging is made from wood and natural binders and is water, oxygen, and oil resistant — meaning that it is fit-for-purpose for cosmetic products. While the cosmetic sector is being targeted as a most promising first market, the Sulapac team envisages far wider applications for their striking eco-packing material.
“Just one year old, the start-up demonstrates how an idea can be successfully implemented and accelerated in a very short time,” said Jan Patrick Schulz, jury member of the Green Alley Award and CEO of Landbell Group. “We see great potential in this packaging solution and look forward to seeing Sulapac on the shelves of local drugstores.”
When pitching their idea, the Sulapac founders noted: “If we don’t change anything, we’ll soon have more plastic in the sea than fish.” Additional to its fully-biodegradable nature and robust performance, it is also aesthetically pleasing. Founders Haimi and Kyllönen are proud of their ‘Nordic design.’
The founders were inspired to develop the Sulapac material when looking at their own bathroom shelves, which were full of plastic jars and containers. “We were shocked when we realized how much plastic we own and wanted to use our ten years of experience with biomaterials to make a difference,” describes Suvi Haimi. “Sulapac fills the missing gap and offers an ecological and beautiful packaging.” Finnish cosmetics label Niki Newd is already using Sulapac for its products and Lumene and Berner have entered collaborations with Sulapac. With winning the Green Alley Award 2017 the founders hope to attract more pioneering customers across Europe.
2017 marks the fourth edition of the Green Alley Award. It was initiated by Landbell Group and has been run annually since 2014. The award promotes groundbreaking solutions in different fields such as resource conservation, material recovery, reuse, recycling management, or CO2 saving. This year, the award attracted 200 applications from over 40 countries. The prize for the winner Sulapac consists of cash and non-cash items valued at 30,000 euros.
Article contributed by Ellen Hitschler, Head of Sales at Landbell Group