UK-based Sol-gel Materials and Applications (SgMA) has announced an investment of undisclosed funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management (Oaktree) for its plastic-free packaging material.

Solgelica is a paper-treatment technology based on silica sand and makes water- and oil-proof paperboard for food and drink applications.

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Without using toxic chemicals or compromising the paper’s recyclability or biodegradability, Solgelica is also free from microplastics, and fits into the recycling infrastructure in the UK and EU.

The technology is compliant with regulatory safety standards including the BfR [German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment] Recommendation XXXVI – a health assessment of food contact materials.

SgMA founder and CEO Fanya Ismail stated: “So-called ‘green’ packaging products are not as eco-friendly as they first appear. Many products include plastic or so-called bioplastic. No matter the type of plastic, these products leak harmful particles into our environment and our bodies over decades as the packaging breaks down.”

Oaktree is a global investment manager that specialises in alternative investments. Hermann Dambach, its managing director and co-portfolio manager, commented: “With this investment and SgMA’s technology and passion, we see an exciting opportunity to help SgMA accelerate its innovations in plastic-free packaging solutions.”

In late 2020, SgMA closed a £500,000 seed round on investment platform Angels Den Funding.