SoluBlue, a young British start-up has become the winner of the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge, a global sustainability award worth €500,000 in prize money. Based in Cambridge, UK, SoluBlue fended off over 650 start-ups competing from across Europe to become the overall winner. The company plans to use to scale up its technology for pilot production among retailers.
The jury said it was extremely impressed by the potential of the packaging ‘to revolutionise the way we store food to eliminate plastic and food waste’.
SoluBlue has developed a new seaweed-based polymer that has the same look and feel as conventional plastic. Yet when used to package fresh food, is claimed to extend the shelf-life of the food by more than 50%.
The packaging stops food from rotting by absorbing excess moisture so that packaged contents gradually dry instead of spoiling, allowing foods to stay fresh for longer. Food types, including cheese and fruit, were even found to stay fresh and safe for consumption after two years in SoluBlue’s packaging.
Moreover, at the end of life, the packaging will completely biodegrade in a normal household compost bin within just eight-weeks.
“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,” said Ayca Dundar, co-founder of SoluBlue. “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!”