- Founders: Guy Maurice
- Founded in: 2018
- Employees: 4
- Money raised: 1 miljoen euro
- Ultimate goal: Eliminate the use of disposable plastic by developing a product that does not require recycling.
The international company B’ZEOS is taking up the fight against plastic pollution through the use of their own technology. They are doing this by making biodegradable packaging material from seaweed. Founder Guy Maurice explains what they do.
What is B’ZEOS?
“We are a start-up driven by the sea that develops innovative sustainable ideas. I have traveled around the world for work and have seen what plastic and other disposable items do to the environment and nature. After working for a waste management project in Panama, we developed an edible straw in 2017. At that time, reducing plastic was not as alive of an issue as it is now. People simply were not concerned about plastic pollution like they are nowadays. It is unfortunate that our straw idea was not appealing enough at that point. However, this setback did not deter us. We have continued to develop ourselves and our techonlogy, and are now making packaging material from seaweed. This seaweed comes mainly from Norway and France. There, we work with a seaweed farm that cultivates and harvests the seaweed for us. From there, it goes to our factory in Spain where it is made into packaging material. So we have the production and development in our own hands from A to Z.”
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What is it that makes you a start-up?
“Our positive impact on the environment and the gifted team that has designed our amazing technology. The idea of using natural materials as packaging materials in itself is not new. For years, sugar cane or potato starch have already been used to make equivalents of plastic. Getting back to the basics, it means that large tracts of land are needed for that, just like in the case of bamboo. With seaweed, you are not using land that you then deplete. The earth is made up of ocean for 72%, seaweed grows in it, which is also essential for the marine ecosystem. The uses for seaweed are endless. You can eat it, it stores CO2 and with the right technology, it can be transformed into packaging material. And unlike other sustainable materials, it can be composted in the home.”
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What were the challenges that B’ZEOS had to overcome?
“Our first innovative solution, the edible straws that we did not manage to gain enough enthusiasm for, was a challenge. Also, finding investors is difficult in Europe. In the United States, you can sell a dream to investors before you even start developing the technology. Here, investors prefer to see a ready-made product or a prototype that has already proven itself. Our seaweed packaging dissolves when it comes into contact with water for a long time. We can now extend the life of the packaging through chemical processes, but that’s not what we stand for. We want it to be soluble and compostable so the next generation will not have to deal with it.”
What does the future of B’ZEOS look like?
“We will continue to do research and find innovative, more sustainable solutions for a better world. To do this, we want to partner with manufacturers in the food and electronics industries. And it’s really going to be about rethinking the way we recycle things. That’s a revolution we’d like to unleash with our products and technology.”
Read the previous instalments of this series here.