Chief Operating Officer at Notpla Ltd
Around 50% of plastic packaging is used once and thrown away, but it takes hundreds of years to decompose. Notpla Ltd has created a plastic alternative, made from plants and brown seaweed, that biodegrades naturally in four to six weeks. Seaweed is an ideal base material to work with as it grows rapidly and does not compete with food crops for land or freshwater.
The company’s first product, Ooho, is a flexible biodegradable packaging for beverages and sauces that can also be eaten. Ideal for products with a short-use life, Oohos can replace plastic cups and bottles for running events and other sporting occasions.
Notpla’s second product is a coating for paperboard. Lined cardboard is usually coated with plastic made from oil or corn, both of which are non sustainable. Now on sale to restaurants via Just Eat, the boxes are designed for the food takeaway industry to be both waterproof and greaseproof, are biodegradable and can even be repulped.
Lise Honsinger is Notpla’s Chief Operating Officer, leading its transition from development to commercial operations. Lise has a fast-growing team and became an SME Leader in 2019. She is using the programme’s mentoring and coaching to help the company establish operational structures and a culture that promotes growth.
The company is now expanding into other applications, including sachets that can hold dry goods, shampoos and cosmetics. Small sachets are an area of packaging that has been difficult to replace in the past as they usually are made from layered plastics and aluminium and aren’t recyclable. Notpla is working with Just Eat and Unilever to test out these and other possible future uses for its biodegradable material.