Amazon invests in Toronto-based climate biotech company

Genecis uses organic waste (like food table scraps) to create biodegradable bioplastic

Amazon is investing in Toronto-based bioplastics company Genecis as part of its Climate Pledge Fund. 

Founded by scientist Luna Yu, Genecis uses organic waste (like food table scraps) to create a biodegradable bioplastic that is an alternative to conventional plastic packaging.

The Climate Pledge Fund, which invests in climate tech companies developing innovations that help address the climate crisis, recently announced its Female Founder Initiative to invest $50 million in women-founded and women-led climate tech companies. 

It also invests money in incubators and accelerators that support women entrepreneurs, and it’s designed to help address the gender-equity funding gap that currently exists for women in climate tech. 

Yu is the first woman CEO to receive investment support through the initiative. Genecis is also the fund’s first investment in a company directly addressing the use of fossil fuel–derived plastics.

“If we want to address climate change at scale, women like Luna need resources to build their companies,” Phoebe Wang, investment partner and head of the Female Founder Initiative, said in a statement. “By funding more companies like Genecis, we aim to send a ripple effect through the venture capital industry to encourage broader support for more female climate tech founders.” 

Amazon is currently evaluating ways to use Genecis’ technology. In the future, the company’s bioplastics could potentially offer Amazon customers the opportunity to receive grocery and pharmacy items in bioplastic packaging that is both biodegradable and easily recyclable.

“Reducing plastic waste is a challenging environmental issue. Investing in solutions like Genecis’ bioplastics is part of Amazon’s broader strategy to reduce single-use plastic,” said Alan Jacobsen, principal materials scientist at Amazon, in a release. “The work of Luna Yu and her team at Genecis has the potential to make plastic alternatives more affordable and change the impact plastic packaging has on the environment.”

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