For us to help our environment we need to find an alternative to plastics. People use plastic for everything and quite frankly are reluctant to give up using it, because it’s extremely convenient. Enter Sulapac, a wood-based innovative material that was “Inspired by Nordic nature.” Made out of wood chips and fully biodegradable natural binders, Sulapac is an easy environmentally friendly alternative to replace plastic.
Sulapac, located in Helsinki, Finland, was founded in 2016 by Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen. A background in biomaterial research led to their decision to create eco-friendly packaging when they teamed up with wood composite experts Petro Lahtinen and Antti Pärssinen. Thus, Sulapac was born.
They spent extra time getting things right from a production standpoint, making sure the wood material could flow through the moving mechanical equipment without clogging up the machines. As a result, this technology can easily be implemented with existing plastic manufacturers’ machinery.
Recently they were able to raise €15 million in funding to take their dream to the next level. This latest round of investments will enable Sulapac to further its research and development, scale up production, and introduce a new flexible version of its Universal Material for Injection Molding.
In 2018, Sulapac signed its first licensing customer, Stora Enso who became the first licensor of Sulapac’s materials and technology. Later that year the two companies introduced a microplastic-free mass-producible, marine-degradable straw.
Marcus Dehlin, Head of Business Alliances at Stora Enso, commented on the partnership:
Billions of plastic straws are produced and used every week, creating harmful waste that often ends up in the sea. This renewable and biodegradable material can replace fossil-based materials and help combat plastic waste. Our cooperation with Sulapac allows us to explore new types of innovative and scalable materials and widen our offering of renewable solutions.
Sulapac’s premium material is made from wood and natural biopolymers. It is 100 percent bio-based, contains only food contact approved raw materials, and is fully biodegradable. It is made from plant-based binders and wood, which is also 100 percent bio-based. This is designed to mold perfectly to modern product lines and is especially suitable for jars and clothing hangers.
Now the company has this new funding coming from many new investors including; Chanel, Mousse Partners, Sky Ocean Ventures, Lifeline Ventures, and Bonnier Ventures along with private investors. Sulapac said these new partners were carefully chosen based on a long-term commitment to sustainability.
Haimi commented on the new funding from investors:
We want to make Sulapac the number one sustainable material replacing plastic. Lifeline Ventures, who was also one of our seed funders, has strong experience in building international growth stories. Chanel brings exceptional customer insight while Sky Ocean Ventures and Bonnier Ventures with their comprehensive understanding of the international media landscape can support us in building our brand recognition and help expand to the international markets.
Sky Ocean Head of Investments, Jamie Rowles, also left a comment: “As part of Sky’s commitment to tackle plastics in our oceans, we are investing in Sulapac to support its plan to scale up the potential of its sustainable, microplastic-free material innovation.”
The beauty of Sulapac’s product lines reaches beyond sleek design; if they accidentally end up in our oceans they will not harm the ecosystem. They will fully break down, and naturally occurring organisms can easily digest these eco-friendly products.