Packaging Trends

SKY Invests in 10 UK Companies To Fight Plastic Problem

In order to combat our reliance on plastic, and the cost the environment pays for it, Sky’s Ocean Ventures fund has invested in 10 companies in the UK which are developing ideas to turn off the plastics tap, in collaboration with the government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.

The 10 companies have all been chosen because of their pioneering ideas in either material innovation, circular economy or responsible consumption.

Sky’s group chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, says the Ocean Ventures fund is about recognising that Sky has a responsibility beyond its business and trying to create a plastic-free future for our oceans.

“By investing in innovative new products and materials we will help to turn off the plastics tap,” he explains.

Meet the 10 companies that want to beat plastic and save the environment.

  • Bagboard: Reusable advertising

A new digital advertising platform launching in September, Bagboard turns reusable paper bags into advertising space. The accompanying app then incentivises consumes to engage digitally in return for personal and social rewards.

Sorting out plastic recycling is no mean feat, which is why Blue Green Vision provides illumination systems that can sort plastic accurately, with plans to revolutionise the recycling chain.

  • Choose Water: Plastic-free water bottles

The proceeds from this plastic-free biodegradable water bottle made entirely from sustainable materials will be donated to Water for Africa, a charity which aims to enable a sustained programme of development across the continent.

  • DAME: Sustainable tampons

One of the new raft of period subscription services making sustainable products, DAME is also responsible for the world’s first reusable tampon applicator.

Starting with the board sports industry, Flexi-Hex makes sustainable packaging sleeves and now plans to expand this 100 per cent recyclable product to other industries to reduce the world’s dependence on things like bubble wrap.

  • HD Wool: Wool that doesn’t shed

Yorkshire-based wool supplier H.Dawson is innovating on a product its been supplying for 130 years with HD Wool, an advanced wool to replace the synthetic polyester insulation which sheds microfibres that are polluting oceans and rivers.

  • Naturbeads: Alternative to microbeads

The tiny beads of plastic in exfoliating gels and toothpaste were finally banned last year thanks to the devastating effect they were having on the oceans and marine life. But what can be used instead?

Naturbeads manufactures a biodegradable alternative to plastic microbeads, using technology developed at the University of Bath in 2017 by Professors Janet Scott and Davide Mattia.

Oceanium makes seaweed-based products including marine-safe bio-packaging. It plans to use these innovative methods to meet the demand for sustainable packaging and food products as well as enable the sustainable growth of seaweed cultivation in the UK.

  • Petit Pli: Sustainable clothing for kids

Tiny children are extremely wasteful when it comes to clothes, growing seven sizes in their first two years. That’s why London fashion start-up Petit Pil is engineering clothes that grow with children made from recycled plastic bottles.

There is another biotech company on the list but it is keeping quiet for now until the publication of its scientific discovery, planned for later this year.


Published on and written by Amelia Heathman

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