Shellworks desires to crack make-up’s single-use plastic downside

Is the wonder trade 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 may scale its petroleum-free, compostable packaging, which “performs like plastic” however breaks down in a few 12 months, the corporate claims.

Shellworks’ first plastic-like product was developed utilizing shellfish waste, however lower than a 12 months 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 response to cofounder and chief product officer Amir Afshar.

Like Fifth Concord, Shellworks stored its title regardless of the lineup change.

“Our imaginative and prescient is to interrupt the reliance on the petroleum trade by constructing a latest normal of packaging that’s performant, cost-competitive and actually sustainable,” stated CEO Insiya Jafferjee, who cofounded Shellworks after spending almost three years at Apple.

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

Containers created from Shellworks’ plastic different.

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

Shellworks is one among the many firms busy growing options 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 accountable for roughly 70% of the wonder sector’s carbon emissions, per the British Magnificence Council, an trade group.

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

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