LIOF Invests In Scale-up Healix
LIOF is proud to announce its strategic investment in Healix (healix.eco), a clean-tech company and pioneer in the fight against the plastic soup. Healix does this by producing high-quality, circular polymers from discarded rope and nets in collaboration with supply chain partners including The Ocean Cleanup. The polymers are then used as granules in the plastics industry. This innovative production method also reduces the company’s ecological footprint. This investment in Healix is fully in line with LIOF’s ambition to finance frontrunners in the circular economy.
LIOF and Healix
LIOF had been following Healix closely for some time, and saw an ambitious idea turn into a bricks-and-mortar recycling plant in record time. “This investment from LIOF’s Participation Fund will be used to optimize the plant in Maastricht, set up by Marcel Alberts at the end of 2021,” said investment manager Stefan Vocks. Annemoon Borst, another investment manager, added: “But our ambitions go beyond Maastricht. This plant serves as a blueprint for international scale-up in the near future, with a focus on key locations for waste stream collection. Plans for this are already in the pipeline.”
“Everyone believes that having a circular economy is key to addressing the problems we now face in terms of climate, biodiversity, and pollution. However, Healix’s ambitions in this area are being curtailed by an unfavorable economic climate, low prices for virgin plastics, and delays to legislation on plastics recycling. We’re excited to join forces with LIOF. Besides being an investor from our home province, they share our social and sustainable values and enable us to continue our mission,” said Marcel Alberts, CEO and founder of Healix. “This strategic investment will enable us to scale up while innovating and optimizing our operations in Maastricht, consolidating our position, and – of course – bringing about the positive change that the plastics chain needs.”
Turning Ocean Plastic Into Reusable Recyclate
Plastics pose a major risk to the environment. According to the Plastic Soup Foundation, more than eight million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. While discarded rope and nets are the deadliest form of waste for marine life, the vast majority of plastic comes from the mainland. For example, agriculture uses twelve million metric tons of plastic each year, yet only 6.5% of this is recycled. Despite the known risks, global plastic consumption is on the rise and annual production is expected to quadruple to 1,480 million metric tons by 2050.
Healix is among the leading innovative companies producing sustainable solutions to this growing plastic problem. The company is able to convert discarded rope and nets from agriculture and fisheries into certified, circular polymers in the form of pellets. As a key player in the fight against plastic pollution, Healix also wants circular materials to take precedence over virgin plastics. To achieve this, Healix works closely with partners who collect waste streams and with leading industry players, such as Tama Group and LC Packaging, who use Healix’s granules as a component in new products. In a nutshell, this process extracts valuable raw materials from waste streams, which would otherwise been discarded.
Innovative Recycling Process Also Leads To Lower Carbon Footprint
The company’s production process also reduces CO2 emissions (a reduction of 50,000 metric tons over a 5-year period) and fossil fuel consumption. “Petroleum is used to produce the conventional material for rope and nets. Our circular polymers’ carbon footprint is four times smaller than the footprint of that conventional material. That’s how we achieve such a huge reduction,” said Healix founder, Marcel Alberts.