Industry News

UKRI funding award will allow Xampla and 2M Group to scale up production of biodegradable materials

by | Jan 11, 2024

Xampla and 2M Group recently shared the news that they were chosen to receive the Innovate UK Smart Grant, which will allow them to scale up production of their bio-based, biodegradable Morro materials.

Statistics show that annually, three million tons of petroleum-based, non-biodegradable functional and barrier coating for single-use paperboard packaging is produced. This affects the paperboard recycling streams, as the chemicals can contaminate the streams and through this the environment is harmed by those chemicals. This damage occurs during the incineration process of these materials, or when they are sent to landfill.

This is where Xampla and 2M Group come in, with their Morro Coatings solution which they developed to act as a drop-in, plant-based alternative. According to the company, this new material is fully biodegradable, home compostable and safe for food contact. The material is also purposely designed to provide strength, along with barrier properties against grease and oxygen. As this product is extremely beneficial to the drive to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced, the funding was awarded to Xampla and 2M Group in order to help them scale-up and increase the capacity of their Milton Keynes manufacturing site. The funding has the potential to bring the company to a point at which their production site is able to produce multiple tons per day.

The funding provided by Innovate UK Smart Group will also help the companies boost and improve the commercialisation of Morro materials throughout the material and life science industries, their customer network. Alongside this, the scaling-up of this project will come with other benefits, such as benefiting the UK’s self-sufficiency in the bio-manufacturing supply chain through the creation of jobs. It will also benefit the supply chain through encouraging regulatory change, plus it will enable the fulfilment for the demand of plastic-free solutions.

Altogether, the aim for this project is that by 2031, Morro materials could be able to replace around 10,000 tons of single-use plastic coatings, as well as one million kilometres of plastic-coated paperboard.

CEO of Xampla, Alexandra French, commented, “We are proud to be awarded this grant from Innovate UK, in collaboration with 2M Group of Companies, to accelerate Morro materials’ next phase of commercialisation and position ourselves as world leaders in sustainable packaging. Our partnership will support Morro Coating’s route to market by unlocking critical in-kind support from key customers and enabling access to 2M Group of Companies’ world-leading expertise in manufacturing and distribution.”

Chair and CEO of the 2M Group of Companies, Mottie Kessler OBE added, “Being awarded the Innovate Smart grant is a fantastic recognition and demonstrates the importance of how industry and new technology can help build a better world for tomorrow. We see huge potential with Xampla’s technology and the Morro brand and are excited at the opportunity it presents to support the transformation of our portfolio to more sustainable technologies and to add further value to our customers.”

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