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Kelpi raises £3m to replace plastic packaging with seaweed coating

Kelpi plastic
Image credit: divedog via Shutterstock

As the scientific community looks to reduce reliance on plastic, Kelpi, a sustainable material startup from Bath, has secured £3m in seed funding to advance the development of its bioplastic for packaging.

Founded in 2020, Kelpi is manufacturing seaweed-based coatings for paper and card packaging, in an effort to remove plastic from supermarket products.

The company said its material is strong, resistant to grease and acid, and fully compostable, allowing products coated in it to be put straight in paper or card recycling.

Statista has estimated that in the UK alone, households throw away 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging annually, the most common being food wrappers.

“This landmark investment enables Kelpi to scale up our pioneering work using seaweed to create bioplastic packaging with the barrier properties required by clients,” said Kelpi CEO and co-founder Neil Morris.

“Kelpi can now play a key role in eliminating plastic pollution and ending our dependence on fossil fuels to create single-use packaging.

The startup has predicted that, given current trends, the plastic industry will account for as much as 20% of global oil consumption by 2050.

The seed round was led by Science Creates Ventures and Green Angel Syndicate and featured participation from One Planet Capital and Bristol Private Equity Club.

“Kelpi stood out to us as a strong combination of world-leading scientific innovation with deep entrepreneurial experience,” said Dr Catherine Fletcher, principal of Science Creates Ventures.

“They’re using deep tech to address a highly valuable commercial challenge and we’re excited to be backing the company to scale up its solutions in the vital area of reducing fossil fuel dependence on plastics.”

Kelpi previously secured £320,000 in a pre-seed funding round back in October 2021.