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May 26, 2023

Sustainable packaging: an interview with Notpla co-founder & CEO Pierre Paslier

On the frontline in the fight against plastics and chemicals

Where do you think ketchup sachets end up? Used across the world, the little, impossible to open, plastic packaging ends up in a landfill and, eventually, our soil. This is just one example. The electronics, fashion, cosmetics, and food industries all need packaging, which is often overlooked— found at the bottom of the trash can.

Enter Notpla. Notpla is a sustainable packaging company based in London. Established in 2019, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier caught the public eye when a video of an edible water bubble went viral, leading them to collaborate with chemists and engineers to develop their first product. With the tagline, “We make packaging disappear”, Notpla is disrupting the packaging industry with much-needed sustainability. We interviewed the company to learn about their story. Welcome to Notpla’s past, present, and future.

Notpla has created the world’s first compostable sauce sachet - undoubtedly a long-awaited solution. How does your technology address the issue of potential leakages and pops?

At Notpla we use a unique manufacturing process to ensure that our products, such as Notpla Ooho, remain intact until they are opened by our end users. These are made from seaweed, one of nature’s most sustainable resources and are designed to not only be sustainable but also reliable in terms of function - thanks to the straight of natural materials and our licensed technology when producing them.

Especially in the current recession, how does Notpla address most companies' cost concerns when it comes to sustainability?

Notpla's products are made from seaweed, a rapidly growing material that does not compete with food crops and requires no fresh water or fertilisers to grow. Our packaging products are also biodegradable within 4-6 weeks, making them a more sustainable alternative to traditional packaging options.

The upfront costs of switching to sustainable packaging solutions like ours may be higher, in the short term, but it is important to consider that the long-term benefits of reduced waste and the positive environmental impact outweigh these costs. Especially when considering the true lifetime cost of plastic which is 10 times higher than its current market value, if we take into account all the negative externalities, such as waste management or health cost (WWF report link/mention).


At the London Marathon, the company partnered with Lucozade and replaced single-use plastic cups with edible bubble-encapsulated water. What was the marathon participants' reaction, and did it help raise awareness?

The reaction from participants was overwhelmingly positive. Notpla Ooho, our edible bubble made out of seaweed replaced over 36,000 plastic bottles to hydrate runners and generated a lot of interest from both participants and spectators, raising awareness on the problem of sing-use plastic in sporting events. More recently, this reaction and overall appreciation of our product were also present at the Gothenburg Half Marathon which took place on May 13th - where Notpla Ooho replaced over 25,000 single-use cups. Runners, amongst other end-consumers, are ready to switch to alternative sustainable solutions.

In five and ten years, where will Notpla be? How about one slightly expected field or niche that Notpla's clients do not anticipate the company entering, but it may?

In the following years we want to continue making a pivotal change in the future and industry of packaging, promoting the mass adoption of sustainable alternatives. We aim to keep on expanding globally, and within the different spheres of packaging - entering the fields of fashion, cosmetics and home care, amongst others, with our varied portfolio of products and scalable focus on Notpla Coating and Notpla Film.

Notpla’s innovative products could enter any niche within the packaging industry with the right systems and legislation, which is where our role extends from not only producing sustainable packaging but raising awareness of its immense possibilities and the legislative steps needed for its implementation.

Sustainability demands are rapidly growing within society and governments. Yet, not all issues have been addressed. Which sustainable direction should society and government pay more attention to, according to Notpla?

While policy efforts have been made to regulate packaging, we believe that there are still fundamental issues that need to be addressed. Current legislation falls short in tackling certain problematic materials within the packaging industry. This results from gaps and loopholes present in regulations, such as the Single-Use Plastic Ban, which undermines the effectiveness of these in addressing the plastic problem.

We believe that governments should be paying closer attention to these loopholes and should work on firmer policy changes to address them and facilitate the promotion and integration of sustainable solutions like ours.

Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Content Writer at TechNews180
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