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Inventive ways to make plastics more sustainable

Green Tech South West welcomes Neil Morris from Kelpi and Keven Chappell from Pinweld to tell us about their incredible work to transform the ways we use and view plastics.

Today, 8% of the world’s oil is used to make fossil fuel plastics. On current trends, by 2050 that will be 20%. Current estimates of 170 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans are set to increase 2.6-fold by 2040 and by 2050 mean there is more plastic than fish in the sea (by weight). Recycling will only ever be a part of the solution. Right now just 9% of the world’s plastic is recycled.

Turning the tide on plastic pollution using seaweed

Neil Morris, co-founder and CEO of Kelpi, the material innovation company replacing replacing plastic packaging with seaweed, for his Green Tech South West talk

Kelpi was founded to address our plastic problem, by looking at other materials – like seaweed – as the basis for food packaging. In this talk, Neil will tell us the story and science behind Kelpi.

Kelpi has created a coating for paper and card which can match or even exceed the barrier properties of fossil fuel plastics, but in a material that breaks down fully and completely in less than 12 weeks if washed out to sea; that breaks down in compost, where packaging can benefit from higher paper and card recycling rates.

Today Kelpi is already working with some of the largest companies in the world in sectors like food & drink; cosmetics & personal care. As a deep tech start-up, we’ve emerged from a university-based R&D phase into our current commercial pilot and prototyping phase, scaling up to meet the needs of the world’s largest consumers of single-use packaging

About Neil

Neil is founder and CEO of Kelpi. Neil is a serial entrepreneur (Kelpi is his sixth start-up) moving between start-ups and larger organisations in software, online retail, media and marketing technology. From his last role, as CEO of AI-software business The Filter, to his current role at Kelpi he’s experienced the investor climate for software as well as climate tech.

Neil’s slides


Plastics and sustainability – yes, really!

Keven Chappell from Pinweld, the project aiming to deliver an innovative plastic welding solution to market, for his Green Tech South West talk

A discussion centring on the appropriate usage of plastics wouldn’t usually be front of mind. More probably, it would seem diametrically opposed with efforts to promote sustainability.

In this short session, Keven will:

  • cover some areas where science and research is supporting appropriate uses and reuse of these materials.
  • introduce us to the novel plastic welding technology Pinweld.
  • explain why the Pinweld technology is of use to both industry and the individual alike.
  • talk through how designers can make conscious decisions to use the knowledge for positive outcomes such as resource management and sustainability.

About Keven

Keven is an engineer and tech enthusiast who decided to change career to teach maths. However along the way (and to pay for the retraining) he repaired things using a technology he’d devised to weld plastics. It worked well for the repair tasks he had in mind, but other than that, seemed pretty inconsequential. That is until industry researchers learned of it and highlighted it as a solution to something that was continually eluding them for a host of applications.

Aside from that, Keven enjoys making unnecessary things with microcontrollers. He’s a fan of learning, enjoying taking courses whenever possible and has never owned a television – maybe the two are connected?

Keven’s slides


Watch the event video

Timings in the video

12.20pm – CrowdCast room opens

👋 03:20 – Event starts with a welcome from your meet-up organisers, Ellen, Hannah and Mike

📢 10:28 – Our famous 60 second intros – a chance for attendees to introduce themselves, ask for help and tell us about something the group might find interesting

💚 16:00 – Neil’s talk (Kelpi)

💚 31:52 – Keven’s talk (Pinweld)

❓ 45:45 – Questions

🗓️ 01:01:15 – Round-up, other community notices and next event announcement

Resources and links

One of the perks of holding events online, and having such a wonderful and engaging community, is we share a huge amount of useful resources and information throughout the event. Here’s a summary of what we unearthed.

Links and resources

Community 60 second intro’s

An opportunity for you, our community, to (very quickly) share something with the rest of us. This can be anything from a green tech project or initiative you are working on, a request for help or guidance or even some knowledge/resource you’d like to share with others.

Gildas Jones – Founder of Dial-a-Geek, Bristol based managed IT services provider to over 1000 rapidly growing businesses in the UK. Passionate about doing the right thing, they work with a high number of green tech companies and community based organisations and are currently in the process of obtaining their B Crop certification. Get in touch with Gildas for a chat!

Laurent Page – As an innovation advisor with SETSqaured and the University of Bath, Laurent has just celebrated the success of the SET Squared Sustainable Business Support programme. SETSquared is an incubation centre partnered with 6 universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey) who offer support for start-ups and SME’s by putting them in touch with academics and academic projects in their field.

Our slides with upcoming events

Take a look here.