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Noora Nylanden 16.11.2023 5 min

Slush advocates the circular bioeconomy: pioneers a closed-loop model with sustainable, reusable cups

HELSINKI, Finland (November 16th, 2023)

Slush, the world’s largest gathering of startups and venture capitalists, sets new standards for the industry by adopting a closed-loop ‘reuse-collect-recycle’ model with cups made of 100% bio-based Sulapac® material that can be both mechanically and chemically recycled. The cups are provided by Kamupak, a Finnish circular economy company offering reusable packaging as a service, and collected by Lassila & Tikanoja in their end-of-life.

Black mug on a black wooden table with some foggy leaf shadows in the background
Mugs made of Sulapac Solid material can be washed and reused at least 125 times. In their end of life they can be effectively recycled.

Slush is one of the first companies to introduce the closed-loop model with sustainable Sulapac cups in its yearly mega event in November. The 20 000 cups are used for serving coffee as well as cold beverages for the event guests.

Slush wanted to have reusable cups, but for safety and convenience reasons, porcelain or glass were not options. Instead of conventional plastic cups, the company chose cups made of 100% bio-based Sulapac Solid material, which has a low carbon footprint and biodegrades leaving no permanent microplastics or toxic residues behind.

“We aim to inspire companies attending Slush to acknowledge their greater responsibility to the planet, and constantly look for ways to improve in that area ourselves too,” says Valtteri Meriläinen, Head of production at Slush.

“By opting for Kamupak’s cups made of Sulapac, we can eliminate plastic waste and reduce our carbon footprint. At events of this scale, choices like these can make a significant impact both directly and indirectly by provoking thoughts,” he continues.

“By opting for Kamupak’s cups made of Sulapac, we can eliminate plastic waste and reduce our carbon footprint”. – Valtteri Meriläinen, Head of production at Slush

Pioneering with a truly sustainable circular model

The cups made of Sulapac can be reused at least 125 times. In the end of their usage life, the cups will be collected by Lassila & Tikanoja.

“Our mission is to make circular economy a reality, and the recycling of bio-based and biodegradable materials is an essential part of it,” says Eljas Tuovinen, Commercial Director of L&T Environmental services, a recycling and property maintenance services company listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

“We are constantly seeking new ways to re-use materials and to build closed-loop systems. This collaboration with Sulapac and Kamupak will provide us important learnings while being an excellent and practical example of circular economy,” Tuovinen states.

Visualisation of the closed-loop model adopted by Slush: It starts with the sustainable low carbon footprint material (Sulapac), the material is converted into cups which Kamupak provides as a service to Slush where people can drink their coffee from mugs, that release no permanent microplastics. The cups are collected for reuse (up to 125 times) and eventually prepared for recycling by Lassila & Tikanoja. From the recycled content Sulapac creates new high quality material.
By adopting a closed-loop model with reusable cups made of Sulapac, companies can tackle the global plastic waste problem, cut down their use of fossil-based raw materials and preserve natural resources.

In addition to mechanical recycling, which is the current commercial method used, chemical recycling will be part of the closed-loop concept in the future. Chemical recycling of bio-based and biodegradable materials is a highly efficient process that allows carbon to circulate almost limitlessly while maintaining material’s purity and suitability for food contact. Several Sulapac materials, including Sulapac Solid, are verified as chemically recyclable and are already available with a high percentage of recycled biopolymers. Using recycled biopolymers decreases the material’s carbon footprint even further.

“This system of reusing, collecting, and recycling innovative bio-based tableware and packaging is the ultimate sustainable model that the whole industry should move towards, as it cuts the dependency on oil, eliminates microplastic pollution, and allows materials to circulate endlessly,” explains Suvi Haimi, CEO and co-founder of Sulapac, a material innovation company developing sustainable alternatives to conventional plastic.

Sulapac Solid is used also by the lifestyle brand Marimekko in their Marimade product line's cups, plates, and lunchboxes.

Kamupak has been offering their circular packaging service since 2020. Slush is one of the first events to use Kamupak’s products made of Sulapac material.

”We’re thrilled to add cups made of Sulapac into our portfolio, as it takes the sustainability of our reuse model even a step further,” says Ilkka Puikkonen, CEO of Kamupak.

“Replacing single-use items with reusable and recyclable tableware and packaging, made of the most sustainable material out there, has a huge positive effect on an event’s net impact,“ Puikkonen concludes.


Download press release as PDF


Further information:

Media kit

Valtteri Meriläinen, Head of Production, Slush, +358 40 751 1905

Ilkka Puikkonen, CEO, Kamupak, +358 40 591 1995

Suvi Haimi, CEO and Co-founder, Sulapac Ltd, +358 44 029 1203


Slush is a not-for-profit building the world’s leading startup event and the largest gathering of VC – delivering actionable company-building advice and bringing together the who’s who in the ecosystem. As a company, we serve startups, founders, and investors through our main annual Slush event as well as our products: online community Node by Slush, and our smaller global events Slush’D with the mission to help founders to change the world.

Kamupak is a mission driven Finnish impact startup and market leader in reusable packaging solutions, established in 2019. Kamupak is building the future of circular economy solutions – with a mission to reduce the world’s waste load with a unique digital deposit and borrow system for reusable takeaway packaging. Kamupak serves already +120 restaurant and event customers and thousands of loyal users.

Sulapac accelerates the plastic waste-free future by helping companies replace conventional plastic with sustainable, beautiful, and functional materials that are circular by design. The Helsinki-based company was founded in 2016 by three scientists and has been ranked one of Europe’s 100 hottest startups by WIRED UK in 2018, 2019 and 2021. Investors behind Sulapac®, the award-winning, patented material innovation include CHANEL and Sky Ocean Ventures.

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