Notpla's Theory of Change –
How regenerative packaging helps restore planetary health

First and foremost, Notpla thinks of itself as a change organisation. The change we’re committed to is the restoration of planetary health. And while this is a massive mission, impossible to achieve by an individual company, we optimise our strategies, processes, resources and actions to make as much impact as possible towards our goal.

download Notpla's 2023 Impact Report

Where to start?
Plastic as a critical leverage point.

Plastic pollution has become one of the biggest threats to our environment and our future. Since so much of it is created by the packaging industry, we realised there is a way of tackling the problem head-on: by creating next generation packaging solutions that can transform the industry.

How do we do that? By harnessing the power of nature.

Natural Solutions

Looking at the way how we have approached packaging over the past century, there is a mismatch between the utility that’s needed, and the materials that are used for it. Let’s consider single-use packaging, like a bag of crisps or a cup of coffee: Using materials that take millions of years to form from fossil carbon, and then take hundreds of years to disappear (if ever), for just a short moment of use, is an expensive and wasteful choice that we can no longer afford. Studying nature and her cycles, we find it inspirational how nothing is ever wasted. After the fruit is eaten, the banana peels does not stay around.
Three pillars are key to this change process:

1. Biomaterial Innovation

To make single-use packaging that does not last much longer than its contents, we bring together an interdisciplinary team of experts in material science, engineering, biology and bio-design.

They work with seaweed and plants, renewable resources that are abundantly available, to create ingenious solutions. Cutting edge research is applied in harmony with nature and her magical powers.

The resulting packaging can either be eaten, composted, dissolved, or recycled. It leaves no trace of pollution as it elegantly returns into the stream of life. It’s regenerative.

2. System Change

To make our nature-based packaging the new normal, we partner with brands that have big audiences. With major sports events like the Göteborg Marathon or the UEFA Women’s Euro we've managed to already replace tens of thousands of plastic packagings. Teaming up with the meal delivery service Just Eat, we brought millions of seaweed-coated takeaway containers to hungry customers all over Europe. And we are not stopping here.

We continue to inspire businesses to join us in adopting sustainable alternatives. We also advocate for policy change and grassroots efforts, to amplify our impact. Recently, we have initiated the ‘Natural Polymers Group’, as a consortium of biomaterial companies in the packaging industry that push for shared sustainability standards and legislation of harmful materials.

Consumer education, mythbusting and anti-greenwashing are part of our key activities, to support the public in making choices that benefit everyone.

Lastly, as a proud B-Corp, delivering social good goes hand in hand with the environmental impact for us. The jobs that we are creating in our resilient value chain are equitable, with fair deals and long-term commitments.

3. Renewal at scale

Our company might be a small player in a very big industry, but our innovations are leading a revolution that is inevitable and sends ripples upstream. Remember how before Tesla, there were no electric cars? We are pioneering packaging that causes no harm, leaves no trace, and respects the rhythms of nature. Once these solutions reach industrial scale, they will become available to everyone and define the new normal.

Every container, pipette and sachet we reinvent brings us closer to this replacement of plastics at scale. To fight our plastic addiction to contribute to restoring planetary health, our pledge is to replace 1 billion units of plastic by 2030.

Leaning on seaweed and plants as our allies, we can expand this process globally while remaining fully sustainable. Our projections show that if we were to replace all single-use plastic with seaweed, only 0.066% of the ocean would be needed, which is well within safe ecological boundaries.

Join the movement

This revolution requires hard work by many hands. We feel proud to be part of a thriving global community of seaweed farmers, processors and distributors with a shared vision and value set. And we invite clients, partners, colleagues and seaweed innovators who are driven by the desire to transform the packaging industry: let’s collaborate and share this wonderful journey for renewal.

Subscribe and share our content to get the word out. Enquire for partnerships. But perhaps first and foremost - care for your everyday choices, and adjust what doesn’t suit you.

Thank you for your part in the regenerative cycle.