Clean Growth UK member NAFICI Environmental Research (NER) has been awarded $100k in equity-free grant funding, as well as one year of mentorship from the Californian based circular economy accelerator Food System 6.

NAFICI was recognised for developing innovative ways to transform waste agricultural straw into paper pulp. They’re now producing wheat straw pulp in a pilot-scale mill in the UK, and a new semi-commercial plant in China. The unbleached pulp can be used in packaging or paper or for other applications. A commercial scale plant is under construction in China.

NAFICI is one of 8 businesses that participated in the Huhtamaki Circular Economy Start-up Program by Food System 6. The program was sponsored by the Finnish company Huhtamaki to celebrate their centenary as global food packaging specialists.

The vision of NAFICI is to be part of a larger effort worldwide to usher in a more sustainable future through the circular economy. Circular solutions seek to move away from highly-centralized, linear production and consumption models that historically have been highly extractive of resources and have generated substantial unintended environmental consequences.