Simon Hombersley

University of Cambridge


Plastic pollution impacts the health of our planet and its people.  Plastic pollution has increased massively over the past 30 years, and we are all increasingly aware of the environmental impact. Throughout the world, consumers, campaigners and governments are driving change.

Most natural alternatives to plastics are plant based, and there are two classes of potential materials.  Plant polysaccharides are commonly used and easy to engineer, but they lack structural strength and need chemical cross-linking to be useful.  Xampla, however, has developed the world’s only replacement for plastics made from plant proteins.  Proteins are the performance materials in nature, and Xampla’s Supramolecular Engineered Protein materials can deliver the performance required for many applications with no chemical additions.  Xampla’s plastics are entirely natural and biodegradable.  The material is commercially scalable and sustainable, and the company is currently in product development with a lead customer.

Xampla is focusing on launch products for 2020 in specific microplastics markets, including microcapsules in homecare and microbeads in cosmetics.  These products will be impacted by the EU’s ban on added microplastics, announced in January.   Future products include coatings, films and packaging applications.

Xampla’s ambition is to create a world beyond plastic.

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