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Green Economy

Published on November 20th, 2017 | by The Beam


Finnish Packaging Design Company Sulapac Wins Circular Economy Startup Award

November 20th, 2017 by  

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.

The winner 2016: Green City Solutions, and 2015: Adaptavate.

Article contributed by Ellen Hitschler, Head of Sales at Landbell Group

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About the Author

The Beam Magazine is a quarterly print publication that takes a modern perspective on the energy transition. From Berlin we report about the people, companies and organizations that shape our sustainable energy future around the world. The team is headed by journalist Anne-Sophie Garrigou and designer Dimitris Gkikas. The Beam works with a network of experts and contributors to cover topics from technology to art, from policy to sustainability, from VCs to cleantech start ups. Our language is energy transition and that's spoken everywhere. The Beam is already being distributed in most countries in Europe, but also in Niger, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Japan, Chile and the United States. And this is just the beginning. So stay tuned for future development and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Medium.

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