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Fully Compostable Packaging Film From Microfibrillated Cellulose

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC22C0025
Agency Tracking Number: B214C-0002
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 4C
Solicitation Number: 68HERC21R0144
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-12-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-05-31
Small Business Information
123 White Flower
Irvine, CA 92603-0121
United States
DUNS: 049910922
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ella Csuka
 Founder and CEO
 (949) 648-3437
Business Contact
 Ella Csuka
Title: Founder and CEO
Phone: (949) 648-3437
Research Institution

Every piece of the over 9 billion tons of plastic that has ever been produced is still on Earth today. Plastic does not biodegrade; it fills up landfills, pollutes the air when its incinerated, and poses a significant threat to global ecosystems, wildlife, and human health. Only around 9% of plastic is recycled, and most plastic used in flexible packaging is single-use and difficult to recycle. Growing public awareness of the environmental and health consequences of fossil fuel consumption and microplastic pollution have led to increased demand for more sustainable packaging materials. Our world has a clear need for new materials that are 100% biobased, compostable, and high-performance. Currently, there is no commercialized thin film material that is both compostable and made from renewable resources using green chemistry principles and non-toxic production processes. Our deep technological innovation presents a novel chemical formulation and processing technique that allow us to synthesize strong, flexible, water-proof, and transparent packaging films using abundant, renewable, and natural chemicals. Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. Highly fibrillated celluloses have extraordinary properties including very high strength, very high aspect ratio and surface area, low weight and density, and optical transparency. With our proprietary chemical processes, we have the potential to synthesize nanocellulose films that are fully compostable in aerobic industrial composting facilities, producing fiber- and nutrient-rich natural compost. Our material is designed to excel in properties and appearance, while biodegrading in weeks rather than hundreds of years. Ecotune, Inc. will leverage its material innovation expertise and industry connections to develop and fine-tune flexible packaging solutions. Compostable packaging films made from renewable resources are the ideal material to package food items, diverting food waste from the landfill to the compost bin. Our flexible film technology is positioned to be the best candidate for food packaging that will meet requirements for safety, compostability, cost, and performance. Flexible packaging accounts for over half of the global plastic market of $234.7 billion in 2020. Biodegradable packaging is growing at a faster compound annual growth rate than any plastic packaging, and experts estimate a market size over $20 billion in the next 5 years. A successful demonstration of technical and commercial feasibility in Phase I will lead the way for Ecotune, Inc. to launch the next generation of truly sustainable materials.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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