FAQ

 

Seaweed powder

Notpla 

What is Notpla made from?

Notpla is the name of our company and our materials. We are on a mission is to make packaging disappear, and are focused on providing sustainable alternatives to single-use packaging through the use of seaweed and plants.

Is Notpla a plastic or a bio-plastic? 

Notpla (a play on the term ‘Not Plastic’) is neither plastic nor bioplastic. As defined by the European Commission’s Single-Use Plastic Directive, we are a non-chemically modified, polysaccharide-based material. We, therefore, share similar status with natural organic materials, just like a fruit peel, and can claim to be ‘biodegradable’, ‘compostable’ and ‘home compostable’.

Can you eat Notpla? 

Our iconic product Ooho – was created for drinks and specifically designed to be 100% edible. Some of our other products like Notpla Film are also suitable for consumption. We’re doing a lot with foods and edible packaging – where you can eat the product inside along with the film. Our other products like Coating or Seaweed Paper are not designed to be eaten… at least by humans. Worms, on the other hand, love eating them

Câr-Y-Môr seaweed farm

Sustainability 

Why is Notpla a sustainable company? 

We are on a mission to make packaging disappear, so having a positive impact is at the heart of every single thing we do. The UN Environment Programme estimates that only 9% of all plastic waste produced has been recycled. A further 12% has been incinerated. The remaining 79% has accumulated in landfills, dumps, or the natural environment. Thus, by harnessing the power of seaweed, we are developing solutions to the environmental pollution that results from single-use packaging. 

Besides, seaweed is one of the planet’s most abundant biomass sources, growing at a rate of up to one metre per day. Its production does not compete with food crops, requires no fertiliser or freshwater to produce and actively sequesters carbon dioxide. 

In line with the new EU Single-Use Plastic Directive (which aims to ban synthetic materials such as PLA, PHA and other bioplastics), Notpla’s products easily biodegrade in nature in just 4-6 weeks without the need for industrial composting or special conditions. 

But we also recognise that our environmental and social impact goes way beyond the work we do with our products. We created a library of content to share our sustainable impact on this page

Can the seaweed industry have a negative impact on our oceans? 

The potential for the seaweed industry in Europe is enormous. Seaweed grows in abundance in European coastal waters; the UK alone has over 600 species, so there is excellent potential for seaweed to be sourced sustainably at scale. The benefits of seaweed and the increasing range of applications means the industry is growing incredibly quickly, helping renew our coastal economies and revitalise our ecosystems. For more information, we recommend reading Seaweed for Europe’s report to discover the strategies and exciting projections for this market.

Where do you get your seaweed?

We work primarily with European suppliers, as locally as possible. As UK seaweed farming is growing, we are steadily building partnerships farms. Our current UK partner is Car-Y-Mor, a seaweed farm on the coast of Wales.

How is seaweed farmed? 

Seaweed can either be farmed or wild harvested. Farming is becoming the method of choice across Europe. While this means that additional infrastructure is needed, seaweed farming has more potential to be scaled sustainably. Farms can also grow more seaweed, thereby helping to build and regenerate ecosystems and stimulate coastal economies.

Why do you recommend home composting?

We define home composting as the recycling of organic material in a way that mimics the action of nature. Mimicking nature is a core part of our values; therefore, we create all our products with a composting scenario in mind.

Our Products

Ooho, edible packaging by Notpla

Ooho

How do you pronounce Ooho? 

The word ‘Ooho’ was inspired by the sound of surprise that most people had when trying one for the first time! Click below to hear how to pronounce it!

 

Who invented Oohos? 

Ooho was invented by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier, the two co-founders and co-CEOs of Notpla, as an alternative to single-use plastic packaging for beverages. They were studying Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. To discover the details of their journey, read this blog article

What is Ooho made of? 

Ooho is made of seaweed and plants. It is 100% natural and will degrade in 4-6 weeks, just like a piece of fruit. Or you can eat it, making it ideal for on-the-go consumption! 

What are the best applications for Oohos? 

Ooho is a fun alternative for hydration on the go and for replacing the need for plastic cups and bottles at sporting events. They also work well for cocktails in bars, festivals and private events. 

Where can you buy Oohos? 

We supply Ooho in the UK and for big events across Europe and beyond. Our minimum order is typically 5,000 units. Ooho is not currently available for retail purchase. If you are interested in using Ooho to replace plastic bottles or cups at your events, you can register your interest here.

Notpla sachet filled with ketchup

Notpla Sachets 

What are Notpla Sachets made from?

Notpla Sachets are made from seaweed and plants. They are a plastic-free solution to wasteful sauce pots and condiment sachets: they are 100% biodegradable, home-compostable, and vegan.

Are they food safe and allergen-free?

Yes, however, their contents may contain allergens.

Can you eat Notpla Sachets? 

Yes, they are 100% edible and have a neutral taste. However, we recommend they are disposed of like food scraps after use (in your home compost bin or kerbside food collection bin). 

What certifications do they have?

They are produced in a facility with a food hygiene rating of 5 stars. They are certified ‘OK HOME COMPOSTABLE’ and comply with EU food safety and hygiene regulations. 

Notpla Takeaway box

Notpla Coating (and takeaway boxes)

Why is Notpla Coating, a sustainable solution for food packaging, better than other eco options? 

Coating tackles the hidden plastic in the takeaway industry. Most food packaging uses plastic or bioplastic to make cardboard greaseproof, so they can’t be recycled or composted. Notpla Coating is made from seaweed and designed to be naturally biodegradable. It gives the board greaseproof and water-resistant qualities. 

Why are we better at composting than other options? 

In line with the new EU Single-Use Plastic Directive, which aims to ban synthetic materials such as PLA, PHA and other bioplastics, Notpla Coating quickly biodegrades in nature in just 4-6 weeks without the need for industrial composting or special conditions. 

What happens if one of our seaweed-coated takeaway boxes ends up in nature?  

If our takeaway boxes accidentally end up in nature, the takeaway boxes will break down and eventually biodegrade in nature. Unlike other boxes, no microplastics will contaminate the environment.

What are the future products you are planning to make using Notpla Coating? 

Our vision for Notpla Coating reaches all stages of production, so while we’re making takeaway food packaging now, we’ll soon be making Coating and coated boards available for others to buy and convert.

Notpla Paper for food packaging

Seaweed Paper 

Is seaweed paper better than recycled paper? 

We make Notpla Paper from the by-products of industrial seaweed processing. We have taken out all the usually incorporated synthetic additives, sizing agents, and stabilisers during papermaking. So our paper is as pure as it possibly can be.

Sure, recycled wood paper is good, but we know we can do better. Recycled paper requires the production of vast amounts of virgin paper in the first place. 

Unlike its recycled counterparts, seaweed paper requires 30% less recycled wood pulp, lowering pressure on forests while reducing waste from the seaweed supply chain. 

Where is your paper made, and where does the seaweed come from? 

All our sourcing and operations are in Europe. We are members of the Seaweed For Europe, a coalition to advance and scale a sustainable and innovative seaweed industry in Europe. To find out more, head to https://www.seaweedeurope.com/ 

What are the best applications for the paper?

We mainly focus on applications that replace plastic. However, the paperboard properties are suitable for wrapping, box conversion and labelling. We produce a range of different weights (GSMs) for various applications. 

Do you sell in Europe/worldwide?

While we’re selling principally in the UK currently, we plan to be available in the EU early in 2022 via a distribution network. 

Pipettes to encapsulate oil by Notpla

Notpla Pipette

Can I put other contents in the pipettes?

At this stage, we only encapsulate oil contents within our pipettes

What is the shelf life of the pipettes?

If stored in a cool and dry space, they have a shelf life of 2 years 

How do I dispose of my pipette? 

It is made from 100% natural materials and is biodegradable and home compostable. Dispose of like a banana peel, apple core or other piece of fruit. 

Do you sell in Europe/worldwide? 

While we’re selling principally in the UK currently, we plan to be available in the EU early in 2022 via a distribution network. In the meantime, you can email [email protected] to organise delivery in Europe for boxes of 64 pipettes.

Film fashion

Notpla Film

What are the key characteristics of Notpla Film? 

We make Notpla Film from seaweed, plant and mineral extracts (no plastic or bioplastic!). They protect your products and can be functionalised by dissolving in water (with their contents) or adding fragrance. Flexible films are 100% biodegradable and compostable. 

What product or content works well with Notpla Film? 

Dry contents or products with a low water content (maximum 5-15% water content) work well for films. The exact water content depends on the product-packaging compatibility and the film type. 

What is the thickness of Notpla Film?

Notpla Film is between 50 and 75 microns, though we are currently working on other thicknesses. 

Where can we buy Notpla Film? 

Our exciting range is currently in development. We are continually working with various commercial and industrial partners to ensure that our materials are ready for the market. If you are a packaging manufacturer or a specific commercial application for our films that you are thinking of, please get in touch with us for a commercial discussion. We plan to sell film reels for use on existing conventional packaging machinery such as VFFS in Q2+ 2022.