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Sheffield spinout scoops £2m for bioplastics made from plants

Floreon Image credit: Floreon

A University of Sheffield bioplastics spinout has raised £2m in funding to develop plastic alternatives made from plants.

Floreon, which is now based in Hull, says its bioplastics offer a comparable performance to widely used polymers and can significantly reduce carbon emissions associated with oil-based alternatives.

The Series A funding was provided by spinout-focused investment firm Northern Gritstone, which last month closed a £312m fund to back tech spinouts and startups in Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield.

Floreon said it will use the influx of cash to expand its team and bring its product to market.

Its halogen-free bioplastic has achieved an UL94V-0 flammability rating, which means total flaming combustion time does not exceed 50 seconds.

The spinout’s bioplastic is made from plants such as corn and sugar cane and can be used for food packaging and agriculture, along with other applications.

“Everyday oil-based plastics are contributing to the global environmental crisis.  Our vision is to offer brands an alternative product and through this transform the global plastics market,” said Shaun Chatterton, founder and chair of Floreon.

Chatterton launched Floreon in 2011 after approaching the University of Sheffield to develop the idea and intellectual property.

Duncan Johnson, CEO of Northern Gritstone, said Floreon’s technology “offers producers a genuine route to reducing the environmental impact of their plastic products”.