A young packaging start-up, SoluBlue, has been awarded the top prize of €500,000 from the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge, one of the world’s largest annual sustainability competitions.
The Cambridge-based start-up beat over 650 start-ups from across Europe to be crowned the latest winner and will now use the prize money to scale up its technology for pilot production among retailers.
SoluBlue impressed the jury by revealing its potential to revolutionise the way we store food to eliminate plastic and food waste. Its innovative packaging stops food from rotting by absorbing excess moisture so that packaged food gradually dries instead, meaning many everyday foods stay fresh for more than 50% longer. Food types, including cheese and fruit, were even found to stay fresh and safe for consumption after two years in SoluBlue’s packaging.
The seaweed-based packaging is also 100% natural and non-toxic. It will completely biodegrade in a normal household compost bin within just eight-weeks, as opposed to many plastic alternatives that need commercial composting facilities. SoluBlue’s packaging also has the same look and feel as conventional plastic, so consumers and companies can reduce their plastic use without having to compromise on the look and feel of their packaging.
Commenting on SoluBlue’s win, Ayca Dundar, Co-Founder of SoluBlue, said: “Winning Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge 2020 is an incredible achievement and honour for us. 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. 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!”
The Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is hosted by People’s Postcode Lottery in Britain and its sister lotteries in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and German. The competition awards champion start-ups from across these nations that successfully combine sustainability, entrepreneurship, and creativity to help tackle some of the most pressing environmental challenges. Over 650 start-ups applied to the competition in 2020.
The competition’s six finalists were announced on 1st September 2020 and were each awarded €100,000 and a place on a bespoke accelerator programme. The finalists then pitched their business models to the international jury on 30th September before the jury made its final decision in February 2021.
The competition will re-open on 1st March 2021 where a new round of start-ups will get the chance to be crowned next year’s winner. All information on the competition and how to enter will be published at greenchallenge.info.