The future of marine materials is here!
Kelpy is a female led startup in Jervis Bay NSW solving the plastic pollution crisis with a world first seaweed bioplastic alternative. Our 100% bio derived pellet replaces fossil fuel based pellets traditional plastics plants on standard equipment. The Kelpy pellets can be injection moulded into any hard plastic shape to form unique packaging solutions for the FMCG consumer market. Best of all, the resulting hard plastic solution is home certified compostable with no harmful microplastics polluting, well... everything. Better still, with our global network of seaweed farmers, scientists and experts, Kelpy sources seaweed ethically from coastal communities creating social uplift for women and families in climate affected regions.
Our product is a B2B solution for boutique level manufacturers and industrial scale plastics plants alike. First movers for our innovation are premium and high turnover product manufacturers. We have strong interest from various FMCG product segments including premium cosmetic manufacturers and beverage makers. Brands with an eco focus or values alignment are compelled to offer better packaging solutions to their eco conscientious customers. As an organic feedstock tailored to traditional manufacturing processes, existing plastics manufacturers are also Kelpy customers and can meet the market with sustainable product alternatives for their customers.
Establishing an all-new value chain for biomass production, processing and design-for-manufacture biotechnology testing has been challenging, however we have a strong roadmap for scale with the right investment partners. Kelpy has international biotech and biomass production partners and can meet demand for scale with investment in growing our team, plant equipment, ongoing R&D and funds to navigate the global patenting process. Our recipe can be adjusted to suit different bioregions in terms of available endemic seaweed varieties, providing environmental and social impact to those most affected by climate change around the world. For rapid scale up, this would be best achieved with an existing large-scale packaging manufacturer with a global presence.
Our first prototypes landed last month from India and we have several LOI’s signed by Australian natural cosmetics manufacturers to pilot our packaging solution.
In June, Kelpy appeared in the world's largest seaweed event to highlight the importance of first nations people in seaweed farming, restoration and caring for sea country. Founder, Fionnuala was made Associate Producer on ‘Super Seaweed’ the movie (currently seeking impact funds). The film explores the past, present and future of seaweed farming globally with a focus on how seaweed is empowering first nations communities and women. Revitalising traditional knowledge and use of seaweed in Australia and empowering traditional owners is key to restoring the balance of our delicate marine ecosystems.
Team: Founded by Fionnuala Quin
Advisors: Allen Haroutonian, Kate Forbes, Tim Collings and Alex Ogg.
Product: Seaweed biopellet for injection moulding into hard plastic replacement product.
Market: Launching in Australia with international launch to follow
Momentum: Halted our intended Pilot trial with customers to secure Provisional Patent prior to commercialisation. Pre-selected for Ikea Marine Materials Challenge and Katapult Ocean Accelerator Norway. Secured global partners in hardware and software seaweed farming technologies. Global Ambassador for the Rocket Cluster Engineering group in Lithuania for scale up of seaweed bioprocessing solutions. Secured Australian production partners for local supply of biomass in future stages. India offtake agreements for biomass with social enterprise.
Impact: Social uplift coastal jobs; carbon sequestering seaweed farms (20 x more than trees); seaweed cleans ocean;; improved marine biodiversity; organic packaging for human health (no microplastics); low carbon manufacture process, low carbon end-of-life with compost in soil as carbon sink; soil conditioning feedstock improving soil health and water penetration (no microplastics); improved crop yields for growers.
From The Founders
I took on the challenge of eating an elephant one bite at a time and I’m extremely grateful for the help I’ve had in solving each part of the value chain along the way. My vision for Kelpy was to create something that would help heal the planet and lift those most affected by climate change. My love for the ocean dictated a no-compromise approach to microplastics and a hard no to any green / blue washing in the value chain. The Kelpy pellet is a beacon for what we can do if we work in harmony with the ocean and I look forward to restoring as much kelp as we can to support all life on earth. As a seaweed obsessed founder, you can look forward to seeing Kelpy products taking over the supermarket shelves in future… then into the garden bin they go!
Company Name: Kelpy https://kelpy.co
Themes: #zeroplastic #bluecarbon #seaweed #packaging #injectionmoulding #compostable #circular #biodiversity #marineconservation
Summary: Kelpy biopellets replace hard oil-based pellets in plastics manufacturing with an organic, high performing and compostable seaweed feedstock that brings sea to soil benefits for people and the planet.
Product stage: Prototype Samples produced in traditional plastics plant
Founder: Fionnuala Quin
Capital raising: Yes pre-seed raise $650k
Company mission: To replace plastic on every continent maximising climate impact and social outcomes.
Why the team wants to solve this problem:
Growing up in aquaculture, with a deep affinity with the sea, I’ve seen first hand the destruction and pollution, planet ocean has endured. As mother to four young daughters, I want to be able to make guilt free purchases and avoid the fossil fuel based plastics entering our home from the weekly shop. Reduce, reuse and recycle is not enough and microplastics are everywhere. Kelpy was born out of sheer will and a relentless and uncompromising pursuit of a solution that will meet the UX criteria for consumers and compost without harming soil and waterways. Better yet, it has to be sourced from regenerative ocean farming that uplifts coastal communities and women globally!
What other climate tech companies we admire:
Cover Photo by Oleksandr Sushko on Unsplash