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This Plastic Packaging Alternative Can Compost in a Year


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Every year, people in the United Kingdom throw away around 96 billion pieces of plastic packaging—an average household tosses 66 pieces every week. Almost half of this packaging waste ends up being incinerated, while a quarter is buried in landfills, according to a May 2022 survey by Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace. The scale of the waste is hard to fathom.

“The plastics crisis can be daunting,” says Insiya Jafferjee, the CEO and cofounder of packaging company Shellworks. Speaking at WIRED Impact in London this November, Jafferjee said that even small, seemingly simple pieces of plastic—such as scoops included in baby formula packaging—result in hundreds of millions of pieces of plastic waste every year. Shellworks was created to start making a dent in the amount of plastic packaging that gets thrown away. To do so, Jafferjee and cofounder Amir Afshar developed an entirely compostable material that can be used to package goods.

Dubbed Vivomer, the company’s material is created from microbes found in the soil and marine environments and can be shaped into solid jars or…

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