Year in Review: A Look Back at 2021Posted on 23rd December 2021
As we prepare to down tools for the Christmas break, we’ve been reflecting on the achievements of the past year and all that has been accomplished – and what an incredible year it has been! Despite the global pandemic and all its challenges, we have worked with absolute dedication towards creating a more sustainable future.
Sustainability and the need for an urgent shift towards environmentally friendly solutions has never been higher on the agenda. This year has seen unprecedented weather events around the world, and the COP26 conference focused the attention of world leaders on the need for change. Whilst we wait to see the outcomes of net zero promises, we have been hard at work to introduce solutions to the plastic pollution problem with compostable, zero microplastic, plant based alternatives.
In March this year we joined the virtual AMI Single Serve Capsules conference, presenting online to announce the launch of our truly sustainable coffee capsules. The AMI conference was a fantastic success, and we were thrilled to present to the industry and begin exciting collaborations as a result of our attendance. Our presentation and Q&A are available to watch on YouTube here.
Throughout the spring and summer months we developed partnerships and collaborative projects, working on coffee capsule products as well as exciting new product developments. During this time we expanded our team, taking on more staff and bringing together an advisory board. Growing our team and our profile, this period also included press coverage in The Times and Raconteur magazine – showcasing the incredible potential of biomaterials and the need for environmentally friendly solutions to polluting plastics and microplastics.
September saw the launch of our first product to market, with Gordon Street Coffee capsules. The Nespresso compatible pods made with Solinatra mark the first truly sustainable, home compostable capsule made only with natural materials in the UK. The capsules were met with a fantastic response from customers, the plant based capsules offering both a delicious cup of coffee and a simple way to dispose – the perfect guilt free convenience!
In September we headed to Barcelona for the AMI Single Serve Capsules conference, and we were very pleased to be able to attend in person after so many months of online meetings! The Barcelona conference was very well attended and it was a pleasure to be able to share our newly launched Gordon St Coffee capsules with our industry peers and colleagues. Our presentation at the conference is available as a pdf download, please email us if you would like a copy.
Over the summer, we were pleased to join the Norwich BID project to promote circular initiatives and develop business solutions for a low waste city, supporting the development of our local circular industries in collaboration with EU partners. The project saw the creation of the first Norwich Upcycling Fair, bringing together SMEs and stakeholders from the Greater Norwich Area to promote and collaborate on upcycling, utilising waste streams and circular solutions. The Upcycling event was held in November, in the city’s historic St Andrews Halls, and was organised as part of the Upcycle Your Waste project. More information about the event, and a livestream of the keynote speech from the day can be found at this link.
In November, member of the Solinatra team took part in the New York City Marathon – raising an incredible US$3,000 for charity. Sponsored by Solinatra, Albert ran the marathon to raise funds for Save the Children. Congratulations to Albert!
On the 2nd of December we were thrilled to attend the Plastics Industry Awards, as finalists for the Materials Innovation Award. The awards event at the Waldorf Hilton in London was a spectacular celebration of the industry, with a wonderful champagne reception, delicious dinner and casino until the early hours. Whilst we did not win our category, we were honoured to have been finalists at the prestigious awards which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.
December has been a busy month for Solinatra, and we are excited to end the year having taken over new premises. The site in Horsham St Faith, close to Norwich Airport, is being transformed into a dedicated Research and Development Centre, allowing us the space and capacity to increase production of our innovative materials and product applications. We look forward to inviting our customers, partners and peers to join us at our new site in the coming months in what is looking to be a very busy 2022!