With plastics flooding the oceans at a rate of 8 million metric tons per year, threatening sea life, last October, the EU rightly voted to ban the use of single-use plastics such as cuttlery and straws by 2020 (though plastic bottles will remain legal, with the stipulation that they must be made of 90% recycled materials by 2029). Now, alternatives are being developed and beginning to receive investment.
Founded in 2017, BIO-LUTIONS is a Hamburg-based manufacturer producing ecological packaging and disposable tableware from agricultural residues, at a cost competitive to that of production from plastics. The startup has just raised €8.3 million, with Delivery Hero and the KfW subsidiary DEG as key investors.
Following the establishment of a production plant in India, BIO-LUTIONS has seen a surge in demand for its sustainable products, garnering interest from large global retailers. The green tech startup plans to use the new funds to expand globally, increasing production in India and building new production facilities in Europe and Asia.
BIO-LUTIONS has co-developed a patented technology that makes it possible to produce packaging and disposable tableware from a variety of agricultural residues without the need for additional binding agents or chemicals. The use of agricultural residues – which are globally available and until now have mostly been disposed of for a fee as waste products – significantly reduces raw material costs – enabling the products to compete with disposable plastic products in terms of price.
At its plant in India, BIO-LUTIONS also adheres to positive social and ecological practices by sourcing its raw materials such as sugar cane leaves and banana stems from local smallholders. This offers farmers an additional source of income, helping to reduce poverty among the rural population. The use of agricultural residues also reduces air pollution by providing an alternative to the incineration of crop residues.
“A partnership with two internationally operating firms such as Delivery Hero and the DEG, makes it possible for a young company like BIO-LUTIONS to realise their expansion strategy,” said Founder and CEO Eduardo Gordillo. “This important step enables BIO-LUTIONS to sustainably build our team, our production sites and our customer portfolio. It is an honour and a privilege to work with these renowned companies moving forward.”
“Participating in the financing of BIO-LUTIONS helps us to further implement our long-term strategy – with BIOLUTIONS we have a new and important addition to our portfolio which has high social and ecological value,” added Emmanuel Thomassin, the CFO of Delivery Hero.