UnPlastic: Outlander Materials create non-plastic eco-friendly packaging from beer waste

Dutch startup Outlander Materials has created a non-plastic alternative to single-use plastics, made from brewery waste, that is compostable and releases no toxins into the environment. 

UnPlastic is a circular product, made from food industry sources, by-products and brewery waste. Its composition means it is functional, compostable, and totally non-plastic. Hence it never breaks down into micro- or nanoplastics.

What makes UnPlastic a genuine alternative for single-use plastics and fit for commercial use, are its properties: flexible, lightweight, transparent, colourless and odourless. According to Outlander Materials, it has exceptional barrier against fats, oils and oxygen, helping to preserve products. 

Outlander Materials say: “Using beer waste, combined with other food industry streams and by-products, we make the versatile and compostable foil that’s our flagship product. Let us explain to you how.

“While many of us know and enjoy the taste of beer, fewer of us know the waste that occurs while making it. At each stage waste is occurring. Barley grains arrive in plastic bags, grains and hops are left after mashing and boiling, and cleaning and rinsing at each stage requires a great deal of freshwater. For every liter of beer we drink, an estimated 6 liters of freshwater is poured down the drain.

“By combining beer brewery waste with other food industry sources and by-products, plus a bit of Outlander magic, we turn it into a functional and compostable foil that’s entirely non-plastic.”

The Rotterdam-based Outlander Materials was founded by biotechnologist Lori Goff to address plastic waste. While brewing beer at home she hit upon the idea of UnPlastic,

The Rotterdam-based Outlander Materials was founded by biotechnologist Lori Goff to address plastic waste. While brewing beer at home in her kitchen, Lori Goff discovered the possibilities of using beer waste to create new materials, and hit upon the idea of UnPlastic. Since then, the Outlander Materials founder and CEO has been on a quest to create better alternatives to single-use plastics.

Outlander Materials hope to turn materials like UnPlastic into common resources for the packaging world. After commercialisation, they say they will further develop end applications for foils and coatings within the flexible packaging market, and explore non-packaging applications for the raw products. 

Outlander Materials

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

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