Alumni & prof's startup lands USD$6.5M to reduce plastic waste

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Waterloo-based company Nfinite Nanotech has raised $6.5 million USD in seed funding to scale its nanomaterial product that will help divert plastic waste from landfills.

Co-founded in 2020 by Waterloo Engineering alumni Chee Hau Teoh (MASc ’20) and Jhi Yong Loke (MASc ’21) with Dr. Kevin Musselman, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, the company is developing a coating for sustainable and biodegradable food packaging.

“Plastic is everywhere. It touches almost everything we use nowadays and that has created a big problem,” said Teoh, CEO of Nfinite Nanotech. “There are millions of tons of plastic waste produced a year. To make it worse, less than 10 per cent of that is being recycled and the remaining either goes into landfills or the ocean.” 

Nfinite’s nanocoating, which is applied during the packaging production process, means food companies can now package their goods in a way that is better for the environment without compromising product freshness and shelf life. This will help reduce the dependency on plastic food packaging which adds to the more than nearly 400 million tonnes of plastic waste produced every year, according to the World Economic Forum.

Teoh, Loke and Musselman developed their research into a market-ready product at the University of Waterloo with support from Velocity — Waterloo’s flagship incubator.

“We are going to scale our operations and our market position as pioneers in eco-friendly packaging,” Teoh says. “This is an opportunity to deepen our partnerships with our customers and continue to deliver solutions that meet the urgent need for sustainability in our world today.”  

Go to The future is now for sustainable packaging for the full story.