Unwasted raises £1.5m seed for cardboard construction panel

Unwasted Image credit: Unwasted

Climate tech startup Unwasted has received £1.5m in seed funding from Elbow Beach Capital, ahead of an anticipated £72m Series A.

It has developed a process that alters the fibres inside waste cardboard to produce a panel board that can be used across construction, flooring and furniture.

Unwasted says its panel board does not require “glues, resins and toxic chemicals” to build, instead using a continuous pressing and drying cycle.

Unwasted’s tech has been validated at its pilot manufacturing plant located in Deeside, North Wales. The company now has plans to build its first full-scale production plant in Denmark.

The Denmark plant will occupy 75,000 square metres, operating on renewable energy and will turn 140,000 tonnes of cardboard waste into 160,000m3 of panels annually, Unwasted said.

Initial contracts that have already been signed are predicted to bring in £80m of revenue a year from one production line, according to Unwasted, with the option for a second line.

Addressing sustainability issues

Before 2030 the London headquartered startup wants to have at least five sites in Europe, Australia and the US.

Rod Fountain, CEO, Unwasted, said: “Unwasted’s mission is to produce a sustainable alternative to virgin wood-based panels which can be remade indefinitely without harm to the environment, and this funding round is an important step in achieving this goal.”

“Unwasted simultaneously addresses two of the biggest sustainability challenges the world faces, namely deforestation and excess waste,” added Nick Charman, chairman, Elbow Beach Capital.

“By using waste cardboard as its main input, Unwasted has secured a cheap and abundant feedstock for the foreseeable future and can deliver genuine impact in making the construction and manufacturing industries more circular.”

Unwasted has previous secured over £4m in seed funding from the likes of the government’s Future Fund, bringing the total with the latest raise to more than £5.5m.

Elbow Beach Capital has previously backed Scottish electric vehicle maker Munro Vehicles, which last month launched its 4×4.