Phantm, a new plastic reduction platform, which says it is committed to accelerating the adoption of natural materials, has successfully secured $2 million in an oversubscribed seed round, led by Blacknova VC, Salus Ventures and CoVentures VC.
Phantm is already working with a range of leading international and Australian businesses, including MECCA, Starbucks Australia and Norwood Industries.
The platform says its primary objective is to provide an independent pathway for businesses seeking to reduce their plastic footprint through making informed packaging and product decisions. By providing access to industry-leading plastic and natural materials experts, Phantm aims to help businesses meet their ESG goals, and move towards a positive impact on people and planet.
Elliot Costello, co-founder and CEO of Phantm said, “We're in the midst of a plastic crisis, and recycling alone cannot solve it. The market has been demanding alternatives, and it's time to embrace the range of different materials that can replace petrochemical plastics so that we can finally turn virgin plastic off at the tap. The enthusiasm from investors across the country is really exciting and shows the dedication to deplastifying Australian businesses.”
Globally, only nine per cent of plastics are recycled, with contamination and mixed plastics often hampering any recycling potential. This is in addition to the reduced quality when recycling plastics, which not only restricts reusability but also incurs higher costs compared to producing new virgin plastic.
These economic factors, infrastructure limitations, and diverse regulations make recycling challenging, which makes the increasing emergence of natural materials (such as seaweed, fungi, cellulose, pulp, and PHA based materials) a potential alternative.
Edward Whitehead, Phantm’s head of strategy, said Phantm utilises its understanding to assist brands who are otherwise fearful or hesitant to navigate the complex layers involved in plastic reduction.
“We bring the expertise that helps firms pull back the layers, ensuring they're taking the right steps towards positive change. Businesses can’t just leapfrog into perfection, and it's important they work transparently to improve, be better and do better,” he said.
Though currently operating within Australia, the platform says it is dedicated to the global plastic crisis, with plans to expand across Asia, North America, and European markets.