This London-based biotech startup is working to break the reliance on the petroleum industry and create a sustainable standard for packaging.

Shellworks secured a $6.2 million seed round and wants to prove that it can scale its petroleum-free and compostable packaging that acts like plastic but can break down in just a year, according to the company.

“We aim to combine our expertise in science, design, and engineering to solve one of the most problematic environmental issues of our time: plastic pollution,” says the company.

Shellworks originally started working to make packaging with shellfish waste, but recently they changed directions and started using a fat-like substance from bacterial cells that works like a natural polyester. Their team of scientists, engineers, and designers say they want to reimagine the future of packaging by working with nature.

Source: Dezeen/Youtube

Currently, the company is working to break the reliance on plastic packaging in the beauty industry. According to Tech Crunch, Shellworks has already worked with beauty brands like Bybi, Liha, and fragrance company Sana Jardin. They hope to expand into other industries, including cleaning products in the future, according to Tech Crunch.

We produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, 78 percent of which is NOT reclaimed or recycled. Around 8.8 million tons of plastic get dumped into the oceans every year! 700 marine animals are faced with extinction due to the threat that plastic poses to them in the form of entanglement, pollution, and ingestion. 50 percent of sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, 99 percent of all seabird species will have ingested plastic waste. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and if things go on business as usual, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.

Read more about how companies like Facebook, Tupperware, Google, Dove,  Budweiser, Carlsberg, and FIJI Water are working towards reducing plastic pollution. Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland, and many more are banning various single-use plastics, and others are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.

There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter, and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

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