The Silicon Review
“TIPA® fully compostable flexible packaging replaces conventional plastic, turning waste into a resource, and a crisis into an opportunity.”
There is no one single solution to the plastic phenomenon. On the one hand, at the rate we’re producing and consuming single-use plastics, we are destroying our living planet. On the other hand, flexible plastic is a light-weight, durable and relatively cheap material to produce. Its low-volume saves on transportation costs, which can be both financially and environmentally expensive, and its high-barrier keeps food and apparel, among many other products safe to consume, store, and ship worldwide.
The complex problem of plastics needs to be tackled from all fronts. Yes, reducing one’s personal plastic waste is an obligation on consumers who want to be part of the solution, but we also need to think about the larger picture. Single-use flexible plastic is ubiquitous in almost every industry and nigh-impossible to recycle, and while the priority of brands and manufacturers is not to overwhelm the environment with conventional plastics, it is to safely store, ship, and shelf their products.
The recyclability of rigid plastics like soda bottles can often confuse consumers into thinking that all plastic can be recycled. Because of this, there is a need for designing new materials that can replace the plastic we can’t (and don’t) recycle.
In 2012, TIPA® Compostable Packaging stepped in to create an alternative to conventional flexible plastic with a healthy end-of-life. Their packaging mimics many of the positive qualities of plastic packaging—durability, transparency, lightweight—but goes back to nature as compost
TIPA® develops revolutionary compostable packaging solutions for the food & apparel industries, among others. These unique packaging solutions are home or industrial compostable and completely disintegrate between 3-6 months in contrast with conventional plastic’s 500+ years.
The company offers open, zipper, re-sealable flapped, and pillow bags, as well as bar wrappers and stand-up pouches. TIPA® markets its products for food, non-food, and packaging companies worldwide.
The company was established in 2012 and is based in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
Daphna Nissenbaum: Interview Excerpt
Why was the company set up, and how has it grown?
TIPA® was set up to find a viable solution to single-use plastic waste and has concentrated its efforts on creating a high-performing compostable alternative for conventional flexible plastic packaging. We’ve grown significantly since our inception and have been selling products to brands and retailers across the world. In 2019, an estimated 14M consumers were able to enjoy our compostable solutions.
What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?
When TIPA® started out, only a few low-end compostable products were available in the market with minimal properties in segments such as shopping bags/garbage bags, which could not be applied to high-end products such as food or fashion. We felt that smarter technology could meet the mechanical and optical standards necessary for such higher quality packaging, and saw a real need for a sustainable flexible packaging solution in the market. One of the challenges in TIPA®’s initial years was finding the right properties to bring this vision to life. We think it’s important for TIPA®’s peers to know they don’t need to be afraid to revolutionize segments that seem unalterable.
Share a successful experience with one of your customers.
We provide packaging for Waitrose (one of the largest retailers in the UK) and designed fully compostable packaging for their organic fair-trade bananas. We provided the transparency necessary for the product to be seen and were able to give it the same functionality, look, and feel of their previous packaging while being home compostable. We work closely with each of our clients to redesign the package and to accommodate launch plans, and our projects have received a lot of positive feedback. Following the launch, we received many inquiries from global players who saw that fully compostable packaging is not just a theoretical solution but rather something which can be easily implemented and offered to the market – a package with added value.
What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
In general, we’re finding out that consumers are incredibly enthusiastic about our compostable packaging, and we’re seeing the market demand change the way brands are packaging. The positive feedback has allowed us to scale-up in sales, where we have already expanded into new segments, territories, and grow the business significantly. Consumers of our packaging are telling us over and over again that the compostable packaging infrastructure needs to be much more accessible and user-friendly.
Is your company a leader or follower?
TIPA® is an industry innovator and leader in compostable flexible packaging. What is unique about us is that our entire belief system surrounds our agenda of a circular economy, and because of this, the TIPA® team goes way beyond the manufacturing of our products. We also serve as an information center for compostable packaging, collecting, and distributing valuable information necessary for the spreading of sustainable awareness. TIPA® is called upon to speak at dozens of events yearly to present our agenda and introduce cutting edge technology on a global stage. Recently dubbed a ‘Technology Pioneer’ by the World Economic Forum, TIPA® has become a thought-leader in the field of sustainable practices and a prominent player in helping the world achieve a truly circular economy.
‘Leaders cannot optimize results by themselves; they need employees’ support and assistance.’ How does your company interpret this saying?
I am a big fan of the quote: “if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Building a company is about teamwork; we put a great effort into building a strong and cooperative team of industry experts and professionals.
If you have to list five factors that have been/are the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?
Be creative – Strive to reach innovative technological advances.
Be professional – absorb industry knowledge and educate the market.
Be persistent – TIPA® means ‘droplet’ in Hebrew. A drop of water, when persistent, can bore a hole even in the toughest rock.
Perseverance – Paving a viable path to a sustainable future involves not being swayed by external pressures.
Be agile – Have the flexibility to recalculate the route you’re taking to get to your vision.
What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s reputation?
TIPA® brings excellence in the field with an up-to-date, visionary perspective. We are not just selling rolls of film and packaging, but a narrative for a cleaner world.
Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We think the company will continue growing as a market leader in the space of compostable solutions, remaining at the forefront of change with cutting-edge technology. TIPA® will continue to penetrate new markets with new applications, collaborating with companies from all over the world, and changing the future of flexible plastic packaging by replacing it with fully compostable solutions. I will continue leading this company, helping it reach new heights, and driving an impactful change in the market.
Daphna Nissenbaum: A Charismatic Leader
Daphna Nissenbaum is the CEO and Co-founder of TIPA® Compostable Packaging. Before launching TIPA®, Daphna was CEO of the Caesarea Center for Capital Markets and Risk Management at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya. Previously, she held various management positions at SPL World Group Ltd, a provider of revenue and operations management software, prior to which she held the position of project manager at Whelty Lager Ltd., located in Boston MA, USA.
Daphna holds an MBA specializing in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from IDC Herzliya (graduated with honors) and a BA in Economics and Software Engineering from Bar Ilan University. She graduated from the elite Israel Defense Forces software engineering program (Mamram) and served in the Israeli Navy software unit as an officer (ranked Captain).
Today, Daphna is leading the TIPA® team in the movement to revolutionize packaging systems and rid the world of plastic pollution.
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