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Coronavirus & Supply Chain Pressures

plastic packaging

As the spread of coronavirus continues, it is no longer business as usual. This newsletter takes a look at the effects on our supply chains and the packaging industry.


As the effects of coronavirus continue and the long-term effects unknown, business as usual is no longer an option, either for individuals or companies. We are seeing massive changes in our everyday routines, from our working and travel patterns to our shopping, socialising and caring routines. Whilst of course this will put many businesses under huge strains, for others it may offer an alternative opportunity. In addition to the usual suspects of remote working software or food distribution, our thoughts turned to businesses involved in digital health, EdTech and supply chains.

This week our focus is on packaging and supply chains. Supply chains are coming under increasing pressure to ensure that there are enough cleaning, food and health products, with empty shelves showing how dependent we are on these systems. We are also seeing a rise in online shopping, with Amazon hiring thousands of new workers to cope with demand.

Packaging is one vital aspect of supply chains, essential to ensuring that food and other goods can be transported and have a long shelf-life, which feels particularly pertinent right now. Yet traditional packaging creates a vast amount of plastic pollution: it accounts for 36% of all plastics produced.

Our dependency on packaging isn’t going to change anytime soon, however we can change the type of packaging we use. The two companies we are featuring this week are already creating environmentally friendly alternatives and their methods reuse waste and use less energy and water.



Toraphene are transforming the packaging industry. We spoke to Gaute about how they are aiming to replace polluting plastics with their new, fully biodegradable and compostable material.

Nafici Environmental Research

Nafici turn agricultural waste into packaging. Find out about their innovative production method which uses less water and energy than traditional processes.

Packaging and plastics are vital in so many ways that eliminating them is not an option, but rather we need to rethink how we produce and use them. We hope the changes that we are currently seeing and experiencing will also be a chance to re-think the status-quo, which the companies in the SeedTribe community are already doing.

Keep reading

If you are stuck at home, here are some interesting takes on what the coronavirus could mean for society and the planet:

  • Owen Smith on the differences between how we are treating the coronavirus and the climate crisis
  • The trend forecaster Li Edelkoort on how the coronavirus may cause us to reset our values
  • Follow Naomi Klein and David Wallace-Wells on twitter for discussions on the correlation between climate change and coronavirus

We hope everyone stays healthy and well. We would love you to get in touch and tell us what you think the effects of coronavirus may be for business and how we can help. 

Best wishes,

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