Pluumo, the first ever sustainable packaging material made from feathers

Posted on 07 March 2019.

Surplus feathers equals sustainable thermal packaging - the innovative idea of the two British founders of the AEROPOWDER start-up. It won the European award for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Every year the European Union alone produces 3.1 billion metric tons of surplus feathers.

More poultry than any other type of meat was consumed in the world in 2018. Which means there’s certainly no shortage of chicken, duck, turkey and guinea fowl feathers! It is estimated that every year the European Union alone produces 3.1 billion tonnes of surplus feathers. But what happens to all those feathers? Currently most are processed into animal meal or incorporated into fertilizers.
Elena Dieckmann and Ryan Robinson, respectively an engineer and biologist, decided to take advantage of the as yet under-exploited potential of this waste. These two Brits came up with the idea of turning surplus feathers into sustainable thermal packaging. A new and environmentally friendly innovation.

An economic and ecological material

Feathers have many useful properties: strength, lightness and waterproofness. They are also very good at insulating against the cold or heat. It really would be a shame not to use them... Based on these strengths, the two entrepreneurs decided to use this economical and environmentally friendly material to make thermal packaging.
They therefore developed a low-cost, low-carbon feather processing process. First step: the feathers are washed and cleaned in accordance with strict European standards. They are then transformed into a textile using a biological binder and covered with a biodegradable starch-based film. This is how Pluumo was born, the first sustainable packaging material made of feathers - and completely biodegradable. A product marketed by the AEROPOWDER start-up launched in 2016 by Elena Dieckmann and Ryan Robinson.

A European Circular Economy Award winner

The start-up AEROPOWDER is delighted to offer a sustainable alternative to conventional polystyrene, which is usually used for packaging but is highly polluting. It is now a great hit with some UK food sector players. The brand’s first customer was an organic butcher who was looking for an effective solution to keeping the products fresh during transport. The icing on the cake? This fine example of the circular economy not only won the Low Carbon Entrepreneur Award presented by the Mayor of London, but in October 2018 also won the Green Alley Award. The first European award for circular economy start-ups and entrepreneurs!