Packaging potential: NIVEA brand-owner Beiersdorf snaps up stake in Swiss recycling start-up DePoly

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Packaging potential: NIVEA brand-owner Beiersdorf snaps up stake in Swiss recycling start-up DePoly

Related tags Packaging Plastic Recycling Sustainability

Beiersdorf has acquired a stake in Swiss start-up DePoly through its venture capital unit OSCAR&PAUL, which it hopes will support the development of innovative recycling solutions for packaging in the cosmetics industry.

DePoly develops energy-efficient and selective chemical recycling technologies for currently non-recyclable plastics and polyester waste streams

Founded in 2020, the company has developed an chemical recycling technology which, unlike mechanical processes, allows for the recycling of difficult recyclable consumer and industrial plastic waste streams, such as those containing mixed plastics, mixed colors, dirty plastic waste streams, as well as fabrics and fibres.

The chemical recycling technology converts these waste streams into their main raw components. The parties have agreed not to disclose financial details of the investment.

“The process developed by DePoly can be used to produce advanced packaging materials for the cosmetics industry and the requirements that are specific to that industry,” says Michael Becker, Vice President Global Packaging Development R&D at Beiersdorf.

“We strongly believe in the potential of the DePoly technology as it bridges a crucial gap in circular PET usage by preserving desired quality standards effectively”.

Sustainability agenda

As part of its CARE BEYOND SKIN sustainability agenda, Beiersdorf is exploring new solutions that can improve the carbon footprint of products and bolster the recyclability of materials. The recycling technology developed by DePoly transforms the materials at room temperature and at standard pressure. This makes the process highly energy-efficient.

“Our technology has the potential to fundamentally change the lifecycle of PET plastics and reinforce the global efforts in tackling the climate challenge. We are thrilled to have Beiersdorf and other strategic investors in this round supporting us in implementing our solution on a larger scale,” says Samantha Anderson, CEO and co-founder of DePoly.

DePoly’s seed financing round in the amount of CHF12.3 million (approximately €12.6 million) was led jointly by BASF Venture Capital and Wingman Ventures, with the participation of Beiersdorf, Infinity Recycling, CIECH Ventures and others.

Proceeds from the financing round will allow DePoly to accelerate the scale-up and development of its depolymerization process and build a showcase plant that is scheduled to be operational in 2024.

The OSCAR&PAUL Beiersdorf Venture Capital Unit seeks to invest in innovative companies and start-ups. The unit’s mission is to create mutual value and jointly drive pioneering technologies and skin care innovations.

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