Food Waste Into Food Containers: Singapore-Based Alterpacks
By revolutionising the food industry, Alterpacks has found a remarkable solution to two of its most pressing issues – food waste and package waste. Based in Singapore, their new incredible technology transforms organic matter into takeout boxes and other containers that can be used again.
The startup has recently secured an impressive $1 million in pre-seed funding, courtesy of Plug and Play APAC‘s lead investment. Additionally, Seed Capital, Earth Venture Capital as well as angel investor Alice Foo have all provided support to the cause. Alterpacks’ new funding will be invested in commercialization projects, including production and supply chain optimization for markets like Asia, Australia and Europe.
Launched in 2019 to combat single-use plastics, Alterpacks’ primary raw material is spent grains – a byproduct of creating foods like beer. Spent grains often find new purpose as feed for livestock and fertiliser, or are otherwise discarded. Alterpacks utilises an innovative manufacturing process that transforms spent grains into food containers of all shapes and sizes; not only are these containers perfect for the freezer, microwave-friendly, but they’re also home compostable.
When Karen Cheah, the Founder and CEO of our company, was travelling abroad she noticed communities dealing with tremendous amounts of food waste and plastic containers being disposed of. This experience sparked her interest in developing an alternative to disposable containers that would prevent such environmental harms from occurring. Alterpacks takes full advantage of easily accessible spent grains to create their products.
“The properties of spent grains and the volume of grains available globally were two key factors,” she said. “By upcycling the grains, we are creating new economic value and putting what would have been a by-product disposed as animal feed, or headed to landfills and compost, back into the supply chain as food containers that can be used to replace plastic disposables.”
Cheah elucidated that recycling spent grains into Alterpacks’ food containers follows a similar process as paper pulp manufacturing. With automated machines, the company can produce its containers in bulk; these machines clean and mix raw materials before pressing them into various shapes of receptacles.
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