The young French startup Lactips refuses to cry over spilled milk – but rather, turns it into hydro-soluble thermoplastic pellets. It is the first and only company to have achieved this breakthrough.
To cope with milk overproduction in Europe, a researcher from Saint-Etienne University discovered a technique to transform unused milk proteins, turning them into bio-degradable hydro-soluble smart packaging solutions.
Lactips isn’t your typical startup. It was created in 2014 by academic researchers at Saint-Etienne University. After first obtaining conclusive results, researchers patented the process and launched the industrialization phase, bypassing incubators and accelerators. Today, after two successful fundraisings, the startup employs 38 people and boasts a fully functional production line and a significant client base in central Europe.
The Lactips solution is designed to replace all types of plastic packaging. Because it is hydro-soluble, the startup’s first clients are detergent companies which use petroleum-based hydro-soluble plastic that isn’t biodegradable as a residue in water. They are currently working on adapting this solution to edible products.
Lactips is the only producer of biodegradable hydro-soluble packaging, and as the exclusive patent owner of this process. Milk proteins are easily accessible, as they are currently waste for milk producers. Prices are competitive compared to alternative bio-degradable packaging offers. Thus, Lactips is in an enviable market position providing it is able to develop new business, which is it confident of achieving.
Lactips therefore represents another step towards a plastic free world, while promoting bio products that are currently just waste. Who knows, maybe the next time you see your laundry detergent branded as “environment friendly”, it’s because they’re using milk proteins to make your laundry guilt free!
By Yahya Lamrani, Centrale Supélec student.
Photo : Paris.fr