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Paques Biomaterials has raised €14 million in funding to produce a biopolymer “that has the advantages of plastic but not the disadvantages.” Among the investors are Invest-NL and the Northern Development Company NOM.

Why do you need to know this?

Plastic rules the world. This oil-based material has provided numerous solutions but also major consequences for the environment, nature, and health. So what if you can get the benefits but not the drawbacks? Paques Biomaterials claims to have the solution and is now getting new funding.

More than a decade ago, in cooperation with Delft University of Technology, the development of this biopolymer from wastewater started within Paques in the Frisian town of Balk. Three years ago, the technology was transferred to Paques Biomaterials. The capital raised in this funding round will allow the company to scale up by building a Caleyda Extraction Facility in Emmen. Here, the raw PHA will be extracted into a high-quality biopolymer named Caleyda, which can be used for various applications. This is particularly successful because the product is 100% biodegradable in any natural environment without leaving behind harmful microplastics.

Water boards

Over the past three years, the technology behind the Caleyda product has been further developed, with bacteria in organic waste streams producing the biopolymer PHA. Paques Biomaterials has extensively tested its technology on a laboratory and pilot scale, and in 2022, in cooperation with five Dutch water boards and waste and energy company HVC, has built a demo plant in Dordrecht. The company also entered into several collaborations in 2023, such as with Kolon Industries in South Korea, circular waste stream company Looop in Venlo, and Senbis Polymer Innovations in Emmen to further refine the technology.

“We are extremely pleased with the confidence the investors have in our technology,” said Joost Paques, co-founder and CEO of Paques Biomaterials. “They allow us to scale up and take the next step in creating a new, circular chain where we produce a natural alternative to plastic from organic waste streams.”

Sytze Hellinga, investment manager at NOM, says he got to know the founders Joost Paques and René Rozendal as “driven, knowledgeable, and determined” to make this technology successful. “We, too, see great potential for PHA and therefore see a role for us to co-finance this next step. This will bring us closer to a natural alternative to plastic.”

Emma den Held, investment manager at Invest-NL: “Our investment in this promising alternative to fossil plastics shows our confidence in the power of innovation. Paques Biomaterials’ solution is fully circular and combats the spread of microplastics. With a patented technology, a large potential market reach, and a strong management team, we are convinced that with our investment, we are making an important contribution towards a circular economy.”


In the future, Paques Biomaterials plans to build a full-scale extraction plant where the biopolymer PHA will be produced on a large scale (6 million kg per year). According to the European industry association European Bioplastics, the global market for bioplastics will grow from an estimated 2.18 million tons in 2023 to 7.43 million tons in 2028. Specifically for PHA, that means growth from one hundred thousand tons in 2023 to 1 million tons in 2028. It is the goal of Paques Biomaterials to obtain a large market share in this.