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Sustainability

Israeli start-up MadeRight raises $2M to develop sustainable packaging material using fungi

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
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a variety of packaged food products in plastic boxes

Israeli biotech start-up MadeRight has received $2 million in seed funding to develop its sustainable packaging solution made from fungi.

A lot of packaging cannot be recycled due to the plastic additives which are mixed into materials to give products a longer shelf life. This issue prompted mycology expert Rotem Cahanovitc (CEO), and Yotam David (CTO), a molecular geneticist, to found MadeRight last year to develop a way to replace the harmful additives in packaging with fungi.

The company produces its fungi-based packaging solution through a three-step process. First it uses fermentation to cultivate fungi from organic industrial waste. High-quality materials are then separated from the fungi and combined with bioplastics to produce pellets which the start-up says can be easily adopted by existing supply chains in the packaging sector.

MadeRight’s goal is to make the production of fungi-based packaging just as cost-effective as traditional packaging production systems in the food industry.

“The concept of waste is a human construct, absent in the natural order, where Earth’s recyclers are fungi,” Cahanovitc told The Times of Israel. “This realization spurred my contemplation of revolutionizing plastic production, aiming for plastics that could be effortlessly recycled or even composted.”

Based at the Fresh Start foodtech incubator in the city of Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel, the start-up will use the funds raised to develop a product prototype for the packaging market within the next year.

Fresh Start led the seed round, with other contributing investors including Israel’s VC groups Arkin Holdings and Arc Impact, according to The Times of Israel.

With its fungi-based packaging solution, MadeRight is hoping to tap into the $363 billion global food packaging market, which is predicted to grow by 5.7% by 2030.

Sustainable packaging solutions are growing rapidly in the food industry. In July, Melodea – another Israeli company – launched a water-based, plant-sourced barrier coating, designed to increase the recyclability of plastic food packaging. Earlier this month, snacks producer Mondelēz International also announced it had partnered with global packaging manufacturer Amcor to improve recycling solutions for plastic packaging in Australia.

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