USA – US-based sustainable packaging firm, Genera has raised US$118 million to expand production of compostable packaging products.

The financing round involved backing from WindSail Capital Group, a growth capital investor specialising in sustainability and energy innovation, and Coppermine Capital and Stairway Capital.

The company is investing in its manufacturing facility which produces its Earthable line of sustainable packaging including plates, bowls, and takeaway containers.

It will use grasses and other agricultural crops to make compostable foodservice packaging products at a new facility in Vonore, Tennessee.

The new range of products addresses the growing consumer needs for environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic packaging.

“With this new investment, we can begin to answer the increasing demand for environmentally conscious solutions with a truly farm-to-table product made in America,” said Kelly Tiller, president and CEO of Genera.

“We’re excited about the new revenue stream we can offer our local farmers. Our Earthable plant-based paper and packaging products really resonate with consumers.

“We are passionate about delivering sustainability improvements to the marketplace while making positive impacts in rural economies.”

Genera utilizes fibres derived from high-yield conservation crops like switchgrass and biomass sorghum.

The company will work with Tennessee farmers to produce the feedstock which will be used at its new manufacturing facility.

The site is expected to be ready to deliver Earthable products to the marketplace in 2020.

“We and our partners are investing in Genera because they are pioneering a solution that will serve both our domestic rural economy and the rapidly growing demand for environmentally friendly packaging in the consumer market,” said Ian Bowles, managing director of WindSail Capital Group.

“The market opportunity for domestically sourced, non-wood fibre and packaging products is enormous.

“Genera is uniquely qualified to deliver this solution to the market, given their industry-leading experience managing agricultural biomass supply combined with the team’s experience in biomass processing and manufacturing.”