25/09/20 – Packaging / Sustainability / Food Waste / Plastic / Pollution / Innovation / W-Cycle
Innovative start-up uses food waste to create durable packaging
Israeli start-up W-Cycle has used sugarcane waste to create a novel and durable form of packaging that’s both plastic-free and fully compostable, offering an environmentally friendly solution to the world’s pervasive plastic pollution challenge.
According to recent report published in the journal Science, the amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean could triple by 2040, as part of the estimated 1.3 billion tons predicted to choke our already strained ecosystem, killing marine life and polluting the land. A recent UK investigation found that microscopic, potentially dangerous plastic particles have become part of the air we breathe. However, companies and governments have the ability to drastically reduce plastic production in time.
W-Cycle, an Israeli foodTech startup has developed SupraPulp™, plastic-free packaging made of sugarcane waste that is fully compostable, safe, yet durable enough to be used for greasy, wet, or hot food. Packaged food with SupraPulp can be frozen and heated with either an oven, convection oven, steam cooker or microwave.
SupraPulp is patented, field-tested, and an ideal replacement for plastic, aluminium, or foam containers. It is made from 100% renewable sugarcane fibers, called bagasse, the dry, pulpy fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice.
SupraPulp is compostable, non-coated, toxin and metal free. The containers have unique characteristics compared to standard bagasse containers that make them the ideal alternative to plastic trays for food products, especially fresh, frozen, or prepared consumer packaged meals. While standard pulp products cannot sustain liquids and oils, SupraPulp containers are oil - and water-resistant and avoid any absorption or leakage. CPET plastic trays are typically used in for ready-meal packaging. SupraPulp, just like CPET, is ideal for ready meals since it is suitable for freezer-to-oven/microwave convenience. Fresh meat, poultry & sea food are also commonly packed in plastic (PE, PET, Styrofoam) due to their juice runoff. SupraPulp is a great replacement as it will not absorb them, leak or soften. Following years of R&D efforts, W-Cycle’s new SupraPulp material is able to be frozen to -40°C and reheated to 270°C (-40°F and reheated to 518°F), inviting a comprehensive range of food applications. After use, the package can be disposed of as organic waste.
“Dispose SupraPulp packages the same way as you would your salad,” says Lior Itai, CEO and co-founder of W-Cycle. “This food-grade, compostable packaging is a one-to-one replacement for its plastic counterpart. There are other compostable solutions on the market, but SupraPulp has game-changing functionality consumers need when they want to heat, freeze, or microwave convenience food products. Plus, SupraPulp trays have a luxury look and feel compared to plastic, aluminum, or bioplastic containers.”
Other green solutions such as bioplastic made from the whole plant need to be specially grown, harvested, and processed. SupraPulp is made from the waste upcycled from sugarcane, or similar crops such as wheat, bananas, etc. It is the ultimate green, sustainable, eco-friendly solution to plastic waste.
“Covid19 is drawing consumers’ attention to how we treat our planet and the future of the environment,” stresses Joseph Siani, CTO and co-founder of W-Cycle. “There is greater demand — and pressure — on brands to offer environmentally responsible products. Providing a compostable solution for ready meals, and meat products allows us to help food manufactures as well as consumers ditch plastic containers and create a cleaner environment. Together, we can put end to plastic pollution. We are currently marketing SupraPulp trays and connecting with strategic distributors, the demand is outstanding.”
Joseph Siani is an entrepreneur and expert in bio packaging, with a focus on pulp products. He founded W-Cycle in 2017 and developed the patented Suprapulp compostable material. Lior Itai is an experienced manager for the high-tech industry, with vast experience in both early-stage start-ups and global enterprises, Siani and Itai decided to join forces to end plastics pollution.
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