British startup SoluBlue gets £430.4K for its seaweed-based alternative to plastic packaging


Based out of Cambridge, SoluBlue, a packaging startup, has recently secured €500K (approx £430K) from Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge as a grand prize. The company will use the money to scale up its technology for pilot production among retailers.

Sustainable alternative to plastic

SoluBlue has developed a sustainable alternative to plastic and bioplastic food packaging, which extends shelf-life and reduces food waste. The company’s packaging looks and feels like plastic, but is breathable and hydrophilic. 

It stops food from rotting by absorbing excess moisture so that packaged food gradually dries instead, meaning many everyday foods stay fresh for more than 50% longer. Food types, including cheese and fruit, were even found to stay fresh and safe for consumption after two years in SoluBlue’s packaging.

Made out of seaweed, the material is bio digestible, making it safe for marine life. It is also home compostable, biodegrading as quickly as the food it contains, claims the company. 

Commenting on SoluBlue’s win, Ayca Dundar, Co-Founder of SoluBlue, said: “Winning Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2020 is an incredible achievement and honour for us. Winning the top prize is not only going to revolutionise our growth plans, but it will provide further confidence to investors that our technology is the future. We’ve proven that our packaging works so now is the time to show the food industry and consumers that SoluBlue can help create a cleaner and greener planet!”

Jiva Materials gets £171K

Jiva Materials, another British startup also secured €200K (approx £171K)  as prize money from the Postcode Lotteries Challenge, to scale up the world’s first fully recycled printed circuit board to tackle the world’s mounting electronic waste. 

Jiva Materials has created a flax-based printed circuit board — Soluboard, which can be simply separated in hot water so the metals in electronic devices can be easily and safely extracted for new purposes. 

Notably, the Soluboard can be easily integrated into supply chains and so has the potential to make a huge impact in reducing carbon emissions in the production chain.

The company’s solution will drastically improve the recyclability of electronic products, radically reducing the need to mine rare and precious metals used in many of our electronic devices, from washing machines to lighting. 

Commenting on the results, Jack Herring, CEO, and Founder of Jiva Materials said: “Electronic waste is increasing at an alarming rate, but now Jiva Materials is one step closer to tackling it. The prize money from Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is going to transform Soluboard, propelling Jiva Materials from our R&D phase to offering customers a product that significantly cuts their carbon footprints and electronic waste worldwide.”

Over 650 startups from across Britain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Germany applied to this year’s Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge.