23 März 2017

DEG invests in innovative packaging

Hamburg-based company BIO-LUTIONS' issue currently being financed with EUR 500,000

  • Product made from agricultural waste replaces plastic packaging
  • Production plant to be built in India
  • EUR 500,000 from the Up-scaling Programme

Waste from plastic packaging is a growing environmental problem throughout the world. The Indian government has now responded to the issue, and imposed a ban on certain types of plastic packaging in several federal states. However, the Indian market still lacks alternatives. This is where the investment of BIO-LUTIONS GmbH (BIO-LUTIONS), a Hamburg-based company, comes into play; currently being financed by DEG – Deutsche Entwicklungs- und Investitionsgesellschaft mbH with EUR 500,000. These funds are being provided within the framework of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (BMZ) Up-scaling Programme.

BIO-LUTIONS manufactures biodegradable packaging and disposable tableware from agricultural waste such as banana tree bark and pineapple or tomato plants. Firstly, the organic matter is dried. In a second step, it is ground mechanically into micro or nano-sized fibres. These are self-binding when mixed with water, and can be processed into various forms of packaging and tableware, without the need for chemical additives.

The procedure developed by BIO-LUTIONS has been tested in a pilot plant. Now, a larger industrial plant for manufacturing virtually CO2-neutral products is to be built in Bangalore, in the Indian federal state of Karnataka.

At the contract signing in Cologne, member of DEG’s Management Board, Christiane Laibach said, “”We’re very glad to support the growth strategy of a young, innovative company with our investment in BIO-LUTIONS. Its novel method for producing packaging material allows BIO-LUTIONS to offer a viable, eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging.”

“After a constructive, precise and unbureaucratic review of our business plan and our ecological innovation, we will now receive financing from DEG through the Up-scaling Programme. BIO-LUTIONS will be able to considerably boost its production capacity in India, and thus make an important contribution to sustainable development there,” added Eduardo Gordillo, Managing Director of BIO-LUTIONS.

The region around Bangalore is very fertile with up to four harvests per year, meaning that there is sufficient agricultural waste, and no further cultivation areas are necessary. BIO-LUTIONS is set to collaborate with a cooperative of smallholders, who will supply organic matter for the production, and in doing so, earn additional income.

The company already gained a customer – an Indian online supermarket. Consumers will soon be able to buy bananas for instance, in packaging made from banana plants. BIO-LUTIONS plans to also offer its products in Europe in a few years time.

DEG promotes pioneering investments of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its Up-scaling Programme. Accordingly, these companies can expand their innovative business models and generate positive effects. In 2017, DEG in cooperation with the BMZ provided a total of EUR 4.5 million for the programme.

Source: DEG Invest, press release, 2017-03-14.

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