French startup wants to end microplastics with biodegradable microcapsules

The French startup Calyxia invented the world's first customizable, advanced and sustainable microencapsulation technology.

The company's biodegradable microcapsules can prove extremely useful for many industries. For instance, laundry detergent manufacturers use microcapsules to retain fragrance for longer. Also, farmers utilize them to slowly release active compounds, reducing the amount required to treat their crops. 

Calyxia’s technology allows for the encapsulation of any ingredient with over 200 different shell materials. Moreover, unlike conventional products, the company's microcapsules are non-porous, protecting their active ingredients in extreme environments.

Otherwise, Calyxia is developing coatings that would prevent plastic products from eventually disintegrating.

Why does it matter? Microcapsules traditionally contain plastic that breaks up into microplastics. These small pieces of plastic then end up down the drain or in our food, harming aquatic life and our health. Also, industries will have to find alternatives before the EU's microplastic ban takes effect in 2022.

What can we do? 

  • A significant part of the microplastics we generate in our day-to-day lives come from our clothes. We can reduce them by running our washing machines with a lower setting to limit the force with which our clothes are thrown around. We can also invest in filters or plastic-free clothes. 
  • Other sources of microplastics include single-use plastic and car tires. When possible, we could therefore choose reusable containers and take public transportation.