Blue Ocean Closures boosts fiber-based caps commercialization with Alpla investment
22 Dec 2022 --- Blue Ocean Closures has obtained a second investment from co-owner Alpla Group to expand and accelerate the commercialization of its environmentally sustainable closure solutions.
Alpla has decided to further invest in Blue Ocean Closures to increase the possibilities of growing the Swedish start-up’s environmentally sustainable operations and activities in the field of fully bio-based, biodegradable and recyclable caps and lids.
“The first investment Alpla made was exploratory into new and existing technologies. The second investment is based on proof of concept and focused on go-to-market activities. The investment helps secure commercialization and speed up the route to market for the closures concept in 2023,” Lars Sandberg, CEO and founder at Blue Ocean Closures, tells PackagingInsights.
Blue Ocean Closures is considering allowing new investors to join the company during Q1 2023 for further expansion and growth.
Global paper recycling
One year ago, Blue Ocean Closures, a developer of proprietary fiber-based screw caps, was founded and the Alpla Group, an Austrian plastic packaging and recycling company, became part owner along with Glatfelter Corporation.
“The Blue Ocean Closures’ cap body is based on cellulose fibers and in some applications, combined with a top seal liner. This implies a big or complete shift toward bio-based, biodegradable and recyclable paper products replacing plastics in different segments,” asserts Sandberg.
“Paper products are more often recycled than plastics since the recycling system is the most available worldwide.”
Christian Zmölnig, director of corporate research, development and innovation at Alpla Group, adds that Apla has seen great progress, moving fast to meet the goal of developing usable fiber solutions. “As part of Alpla’s important strategic development in the circular economy, we have now decided to invest further in Blue Ocean Closures,” he says.
The partners’ achievements include significant product and material, production and people development. The Alpla management team visited Blue Ocean Closures’ production facility in Säffle, Sweden, in August, where the first continuous production plant for fiber-based closures is located.
“The work carried out during 2022 has shown excellent stability, mechanical strength and functionality of the fiber closures and a big potential for low-cost solutions and high scalability,” says Sandberg.
“This allows for cost and energy-effective production of high volumes. Blue Ocean Closures is already working with strong brands and global partners, which creates the foundation for making the concept commercial at scale already in 2023.”
Zmölnig adds that it is a very important step that a fully functioning machine is already installed, up and running together with a skilled and knowledgeable team.
“We now have a product with the potential to replace plastic closures in several important global product segments and markets. The intention is to go commercial with our fiber screw caps in 2023,” he says.
“A dedicated and growing team and the additional investment from Alpla is for sure evidence that we are on the right path and means that we can significantly strengthen our business resources,” Zmölnig concludes.
By Natalie Schwertheim
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