‘Unwasted’s mission is to produce a sustainable alternative to virgin wood-based panels’
Elbow Beach Capital, the decarbonisation and sustainability investor, announces a £1.5m investment into waste-to-material pioneers, Unwasted. The London-headquartered company, which converts waste cardboard into premium panel boards will benefit from a strengthened balance sheet and EBC’s commercial expertise ahead of its upcoming Series A.
Unwasted’s Neverwaste is a high-performance, mass-production panel board made entirely from waste cardboard and packaging. By refining and modifying the fibres of cardboard, Neverwaste avoids the use of glues, resins, and toxic chemicals in the production of a premium specification material for use in construction, furniture, kitchens, and flooring.
Accelerated by the growth of e-commerce, average households now throw away 13,000 separate pieces of cardboard every year with cardboard and paper making up 41% of the solid waste stream worldwide. Much of this waste is either sent to landfill or burned, producing significant carbon emissions and wasting a potentially valuable feedstock.
Following the successful validation of its technology at its pilot manufacturing plant in Deeside, North Wales, the company aims to raise a £72m Series A through new and existing investors to build its first full-scale production plant in Denmark. The 75,000m2 site in Jutland will be fully powered by renewable energy and operate a closed-loop water system, making it one of the most sustainable factory sites in the world.
The Jutland plant will convert 140,000 tonnes of waste cardboard into 160,000 m3 of panel boards every year, saving c.170,000 trees and c.150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Agreements are already in place with customers for the panels with the site expected to generate £80m in revenue per year from a single production line with the option to add a second line. Unwasted intends to have a minimum of five sites operational in Europe, Australia, and the US by 2030.
Rod Fountain, CEO of Unwasted commented: “Unwasted’s mission is to produce a sustainable alternative to virgin wood-based panels which can be remade indefinitely without harm to the environment, and this funding round is an important step in achieving this goal.
“In Elbow Beach we have found like-minded partners who share our ambition and desire to make a meaningful contribution to the decarbonisation of the planet.”
Nick Charman, Chairman of Elbow Beach Capital, added: “With over fifteen years’ experience in the building industry and having seen many flawed environmental practices during that time, I am really pleased that Elbow Beach Capital is able to back the Unwasted team to help this critical industry become more sustainable.
“Unwasted simultaneously addresses two of the biggest sustainability challenges the world faces, namely deforestation and excess waste. By using waste cardboard as its main input, Unwasted has secured a cheap and abundant feedstock for the foreseeable future and can deliver genuine impact in making the construction and manufacturing industries more circular.”