Charlène Béal-Fernandes: Firstly, this market is driven by development in packaging and the need to improve use without contact occurring between the chemical products and the users.
Secondly, the biodegradability of Lactips' product gives real legitimacy to this sector. In the detergent trade, it is necessary to anticipate regulatory aspects and all of the factors affecting the environment. The significant differentiating factor of our product in the market provides true strategic benefit to our customers.
Finally, Lactips' pellets are adaptable to all the different stages of the plastic films production chain. It can be easily and quickly adopted by the manufacturers.
Lactips uses technical casein; a protein extracted from cow milk that is unsuitable for human consumption. Lactips buys the casein from Eastern Europe because the recovery channel does not yet exist in France. However, Lactips CEO Marie-Hélène Gramatikoff is interested in setting up an organisation to salvage unsuitable milk in France's dairy industry. She already has the support from the French Government, local authorities and big dairy companies.
According to a study by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, we know that loss and waste in Europe's dairy industry amounts to about 5%. That is a substantial quantity from which Lactips can draw to fulfil our manufacturing needs.
Lactips' founders wished to develop green production materials opposed to oil-based plastics. Their thoughts on sustainability are defined by two ideas: single-use and renewability.
Firstly, the raw material is water-soluble. This means the product is single-use and non-toxic to the environment. The plastic film is completely biodegradable within 17 days, takes only 20 minutes for home-composting and leaves no residues in the environment.
When it comes to mass consumption, Lactips' solution is a cleaner alternative to oil-based products, and it makes use of a material currently going to waste, so it is a renewable resource.
Horizon 2020 finances outstanding projects involving scientific excellence, industrial primacy and societal challenges. Lactips ensures Europe's competitiveness by developing technologies and professions of the future.
The organisation chose to fund us based on our excellence, credibility and relevance to the objectives. We are a competitive company and are growing as we innovate to meet the needs of European markets, and mitigate the impact on the environment.
Lactips started its operations with two people. Now, the company has more than 22 team members, two thirds of which belong to the R&D/Industrialisation department. Due to the fast growth of the company, we've needed to scale up our production facilities. We plan to hire around ten employees to fill this expansion.
Lactips was created in 2014, but has many more years of experience through its skilled managers, who are experts in plastics and have worked on this project since 2007.
Planning to launch our first product in the detergent market, we will start our international trade in Europe, and then expand to North America. We expect a turnover of €20 million by 2020.
We aim to reach the agrochemicals and food markets in the near future, and, later, the cosmetics and medical markets too.