The start-up company, based in Saint-Etienne, France, was founded in 2014 by Marie-Hélène Gramatikoff, Frédéric Prochazka and Fabrice Plasson to tackle the problem of environmental waste.
Bio plastic pellets
Gramatikoff, CEO, Lactips, said historically, chemical packaging has had negative impacts on the environment, such as waste residue and how the packaging is disposed of.
“There are approximately 300 million waste chemical bags disposed of each year, and many tons of left over chemicals are ending up in our landfill sites and entering our waterways,” she said.
“At Lactips we produce revolutionary bio plastic pellets which can be transformed into water soluble film. Our product offers the best dissolution in hot and cold water and it’s totally biodegradable, compared to actual films that leave chemical residues in the environment.”
Prochazka, a lecturer and researcher at UJM (Jean Monnet University) and co-founder/scientific director of Lactips said it makes thermoplastic pellets based on milk protein through an industrial process that can be used by clients as a raw material for thermoforming, film or any kind of plastic applications.
“Environmental issues and sustainable growth are becoming more important in strategic decision-making processes. Our technology enables us to develop new applications for the food and beverage industry, including edible packaging for milk-based products,” he said.
Enter new markets
“Now we want to provide our industrial clients with disruptive innovations to help them enter new markets. We believe our product is a cleaner alternative to oil-based products, which is more efficient and sustainable for consumers and the environment.”
Lactip’s bioplastic film is totally biodegradable within 18 days and can be used as home compost.
Prochazka added specific applications were used in the development of the product to slow down the degradation process of food, and improve freshness control.
“The packaging material must seal the contents from outside factors and protect them to prevent degradation in quality,” he said.
“’Barrier properties’ is the term used for the function of sealing contents from outside factors that will invite quality degradation. Oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other gases in the air have a major impact on the freshness and quality of food products and medicines, and barrier properties for these gases are extremely important.
“At Lactips, we produce a bio-based plastic which has excellent barrier properties to oxygen.”
So far Lactips has produced water soluble and biodegradable film for the detergent industry and now wants to expand into food and beverages.