traceless has secured €36.6 million in funding to expand its natural biomaterial technology – which hopes to provide an alternative to conventional plastics – to industrial scale.

Described as a ‘holistically sustainable material’, traceless’ patent-pending solution is based on natural polymers and utilizes agricultural residues in a bid to conserve biomass. It is certified bio-based, home-compostable, and plastic-free, and is not thought to contain any harmful chemicals.

Compared to traditional plastic, it apparently saves 91% of CO2 emissions and 89% of fossil energy requirements during its production and disposal. The material is distributed in granulate form and is said to be compatible with standard technologies used in the plastics and packaging industry – thus enabling the creation of rigid moulded parts, flexible films, paper coatings, adhesives, and more.

The Series A funding round is led by UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund (UBFIGG) and SWEN CP’s Blue Ocean fund. GLS Bank, Hamburg, and Hamburger Sparkasse are part of a local banking syndicate that also contributed to the funding round, as did existing investors Planet A Ventures, High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) and b.value.

“Through scaling our innovative technology, we prove that a climate-friendly, circular, resilient and regenerative industry is possible,” explained Dr. Anne Lamp, CEO and co-founder of traceless. “With our novel biomaterial, we can make a significant contribution to solving plastic pollution.

“We are convinced that UB FIGG and SWEN’s Blue Ocean fund are a great addition to our shareholders as they have relevant knowledge in our industry. The fact that both our investors and the banks fully support our mission was a decisive criterion for us.”

traceless is now in the process of building a demonstration production plant in Hamburg. It is hoped to cut out ‘several thousand metric tons’ of conventional plastic every year while saving on CO2 emissions, fossil resources, water, and agricultural land.

Sakari Saarela, partner at UB FIGG, continued: “traceless’ approach to use widely available agricultural side streams to replace fossil-based plastic and the financial opportunity their solution proposes convinced us both economically and ecologically.

“The traceless team has achieved extremely strong results in terms of material performance, development times and commercialization of the new material. We are looking forward to accompanying Anne, Johanna and the team in the scale up of this innovative technology.”

“Financing capital-intensive start-ups is still unfamiliar to many investors and banks,” said Johanna Baare, COO and co-founder of traceless. “This makes it a special challenge for industrial manufacturing start-ups like us that are developing the innovative technologies of tomorrow.

“We are very pleased that with UB FIGG, SWEN CP, Planet A, HTGF, b.value, our local bank consortium, we have found partners who share our vision and have recognized and understood the challenges of financing our hardware scale-up. With their support, we are going to reach our ambitious goals to make our contribution to solve global plastic pollution!”

Olivier Raybaud, managing director of SWEN Capital Partners, added: “The Blue Ocean fund seeks to invest in startups bringing innovative solutions to address the three main threats to our ocean: overfishing, ocean pollution and climate change.

“As plastic pollution is one of the main pollutants threatening our ocean, we were seduced by traceless, a bio-based and biodegradable material that can replace plastics in products that easily end up in the environment, and hence in our ocean, such as single-use packaging as well as hidden plastics in adhesives and paper coatings. traceless is a compelling alternative to applications where reusable solutions are not sustainable and technical recycling is not feasible.”

Back in April, Saveggy received a Eurostars grant of over €440,000 to further develop its fossil-free, edible coating designed to prevent dehydration, oxidation, and microorganism growth in cucumbers. Now it has partnered with to create production and packaging lines, and an application technology, for its innovation.

In similar news, Paptic is set to dedicate €23 million in growth financing to the industrial scale-up of its foam-based manufacturing technology, the expansion of its product portfolio, and its 2030 target for carbon neutrality.

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