Shellworks needs to crack make-up’s single-use plastic drawback

Is the sweetness business able to wean itself off single-use plastic? Shellworks is betting on it.

Focusing on cosmetics manufacturers, the London-based biotech startup has scooped up a $6.2 million seed spherical to show it could actually scale its petroleum-free, compostable packaging, which “performs like plastic” however breaks down in a couple of yr, the corporate claims.

Shellworks’ first plastic-like product was developed utilizing shellfish waste, however lower than a yr into its existence the startup pivoted to utilizing a fat-like substance extracted from bacterial cells, which “behaves like a pure polyester” and is vegan, in keeping with co-founder and chief product officer Amir Afshar.

Like Fifth Harmony, Shellworks stored its identify regardless of the lineup change.

“Our imaginative and prescient is to interrupt the reliance on the petroleum business by constructing a brand new normal of packaging that’s performant, value aggressive and actually sustainable,” mentioned CEO Insiya Jafferjee, who co-founded Shellworks after spending practically three years at Apple.

Blue, green and beige containers made via Shellworks' plastic alternative.

Containers comprised of Shellworks’ plastic different. Picture Credit: Shellworks

To this point, Shellworks has labored with magnificence manufacturers Bybi and Liha, in addition to perfume firm Sana Jardin. Down the road, the startup says it might broaden into different areas, together with cleansing merchandise.

Shellworks is among the quite a few corporations busy growing alternatives to plastic packaging, with out the nasty 500-year decay time that’s estimated for some petroleum merchandise. Different such companies embody Notpla, which makes seaweed-based pouches for sauces, Avantium, which is growing sugar-based containers for soda and beer, and Cruz Foam, which turns shrimp shells right into a Styrofoam different.

Packaging is responsible for roughly 70% of the sweetness sector’s carbon emissions, per the British Magnificence Council, an business group.

London-based VC LocalGlobe, backer of corporations like TweetDeck and TransferWise, led Shellworks’ seed spherical, which is able to go towards increasing the agency’s crew. Different traders within the spherical embody Cambridge-based seed investor Founder Collective in addition to former Blue Bottle CEO Bryan Meehan.

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