Made from waste instead of trees

The start-up Treeless Pack produces cellulose with microorganisms - entirely without wood. The cellulose can be used to produce paper, packaging material or composites for the construction industry in a resource-saving way.

by Nicole Davidson, Corinne Johannssen

Pulp is normally produced from wood fibres - but why not use an entirely different source of cellulose? This was the intriguing idea that led Patrycja Kucharczyk and Adam Korczak to found Treeless Pack, a start-up that produces microorganism-based natural fibres by feeding bacteria on nutrients found in organic waste. Producing cellulose from wood is extremely polluting and energy-intensive. By contrast, Treeless Pack’s method helps protect our forests. What’s more, thanks to the fully automatable vertical farming technology currently being devoloped, it’s highly scalable and energy-efficient.

The two young entrepreneurs began their journey in the Student Project House at ETH Zurich. There, they received coaching and numerous other benefits, including access to a network of like-minded creators, industry partners and start-ups at a more mature stage of development. It didn’t take long for them to turn their concept into a product: Treeless Pack now offers a resource-friendly alternative to wood-based cellulose that can be used for paper, packaging and even composites for the construction industry.