Cohort 2023: Sway
Sway is a California-based clean tech startup scaling next generation packaging made from seaweed, designed to be fully compatible with existing plastic manufacturing machinery.
Over the next 20 years, BP projects 95% of net growth in demand for fossil fuels will stem from plastics. With packaging constituting over 40% of total plastic production, governments, companies, and consumers alike are becoming increasingly aware of plastic’s climate and health implications, and are urgently seeking solutions. Flexible plastics, in particular, are virtually impossible to recycle and cannot be easily replaced with reusable solutions. Alternatives coming from renewable resources such as corn, potato, sugarcane, and trees can be resource intensive, costly, do not decompose naturally, and lack the performance needed to truly replace plastics.
Sway’s patent-pending materials match the vital performance attributes of plastic packaging and are designed to plug into existing infrastructure, enabling scale and competitive pricing. Unlike plastic, however, their materials are made from an abundant, carbon-sequestering resource and decompose into healthy soil after use.
Sway products confront the many shortcomings of existing plastic replacements with particular emphasis on (1) Scale, by offering a drop-in solution compatible with existing plastic manufacturing infrastructure; (2) Rapid home and industrial compostability, promising true biodegradation; and (3) Abundance, with their primary feedstock being ocean farmed seaweed: a resource requires no carbon-intensive inputs to grow.
“Our solutions are focused on 5 primary positive impact categories: climate and carbon, ocean health, coastal livelihoods, plastic & petroleum reduction, and healthy soil. We see the massive demand for Sway seaweed packaging as an opportunity to help promote regenerative practices, interlinking our success with the health of the ecosystems and communities.”
– Julia Marsh, CEO at Sway
Why we invested
In recent years, governments, companies, and consumers alike are becoming increasingly aware of plastic’s climate and health implications, and are urgently seeking solutions. While innovators have made headway on rigid plastics, which can often be replaced with reusable or recyclable solutions, flexible plastics have been much more difficult to design away and are virtually impossible to recycle. This is where Sway’s seaweed-based materials come in – technology that can offer value to brands and manufacturers at every step of the supply chain. Katapult Ocean is excited to partner with Sway’s trail-blazing female founder and help grow the business.
Join Sway at Katapult Ocean’s Investor Day, sign up here.