Existing plastic manufacturing systems have been optimised over many years, requiring any proposed replacement to have the ability to be substituted into existing manufacturing lines without the need for significant process changes. Rodrigo has achieved this with the interior coating of cardboard food takeaway boxes, and these coatings are now supplied at commercial scale.
The development of their leading product Ooho, edible bubbles that replace plastic packaging for liquids, required the development of unique in-house production machines that are specifically adapted for production scale. The machines fill and form the edible bubbles simultaneously before sealing them ready for use, and have the capacity to manufacture two to three thousand units per day. In comparison, replacements for plastic film are available in small production batches, but require further formulation optimisation if they are to be mass produced by existing manufacturing methods.
Notpla have also started using seaweed fibres to produce seaweed paper. In the long term, using seaweed to replace traditional wood pulp in paper manufacturing is being considered.