Here is one of my favorite companies—using “waste” bioplastic to mold those plastic eating utensils ubiquitous in fast food restaurants and picnics. They have a small operating plant and just closed an $8 million round to increase production. How many more energy and resource saving ideas are lurking out there in the minds of my readers?

PlantSwitch has developed revolutionary bioplastic technology that converts cellulosic agricultural waste streams into a low-cost, compostable plastic resin alternative. As bans on single-use plastic are increasing globally and major corporations are searching for ways to reduce their plastic footprint, PlantSwitch is uniquely positioned to provide a compostable, cost-effective alternative to conventional plastic that is both sustainable and scalable.

“Alternatives to plastic have traditionally failed to deliver on cost, quality, and availability,” shares CEO and Founder Dillon Baxter. “PlantSwitch was founded with the mission to deliver a bioplastic alternative that can replace all traditional single-use plastics. To do that, the technology must be low-cost, high performance, and rapidly scalable; and those 3 tenets have guided every decision our development team has made since inception.”

Proceeds from this raise will be used to launch PlantSwitch’s first commercial manufacturing facility in North Carolina and expand its team. At scale, the 52,000 sq ft facility is expected to produce over 50M lbs of bioplastic resin annually. PlantSwitch’s customers include some of the leading brands and manufacturers in foodservice, CPG, cosmetics, and agricultural products, and the company expects this facility to reach its capacity in 2025. PlantSwitch currently has 12 employees, primarily chemical engineers and polymer scientists that have made significant contributions to the field of sustainable materials.

Aligned with PlantSwitch’s vision, NexPoint Capital is a large institutional investor with a climate tech platform, where they allocate early-stage capital to climate-smart technologies that will require significant infrastructure to scale. NexPoint currently holds over $16 billion in assets under management.

“At NexPoint, we are always looking to support companies that do important work, and offer attractive opportunities for growth,” said Scott Johnson, Managing Director & Portfolio Manager at NexPoint Capital.  “PlantSwitch certainly fits that bill and represents an investment that aligns with our values and expertise in Climate Tech businesses.”

PlantSwitch is now gearing up for its 2024 Series A fundraise, which will be used to expand capacity with additional manufacturing facilities.

“Major corporations have made commitments to lower their plastic consumption and the toxic waste it produces, but the proper infrastructure to deliver a viable alternative hasn’t existed,” says PlantSwitch CEO Dillon Baxter. “This $8 million raise, in partnership with NexPoint, is being invested in building out this infrastructure, which will drive the alternative plastics market forward.” In conclusion, Baxter adds, “We believe the infrastructure for compostable bioplastics is critical to the future of our economy, our health, and our planet. That’s why we are on a mission to build it in a way that is scalable and cost competitive.”

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