Globally only 9% of plastic waste has ever been recycled. The remainder is landfilled, incinerated, or littered.

Globally only 9% of plastic waste has ever been recycled. The remainder is landfilled, incinerated, or littered.

There's always
a better way

A big part of our mission is doing more than just creating products that are ‘less bad’; instead we want to help create a better system. That’s why we’re more about regenerative solutions rather than simply mitigating or offsetting existing problems.

By offering a long-term, future-proof, sustainable packaging option for our partners, we’re proving that sustainability and value can not only coexist, but are dependent on each other. Our first material Vivomer is helping us make real material change.

To make things

See how your packaging will naturally degrade over time, when placed in the right environment.

0 weeks

First thing to note: the microbes that make up our material, Vivomer, also exist abundantly in natural environments.

6 weeks

When our material is placed in a compost, these microbes cover the surface, kicking off enzymatic degradation.

12 weeks

The microbes secrete digestive enzymes that break down the material.

18 weeks

Once the structure is broken down, these same microbes will start to use the components of Vivomer as nutrients.

24 weeks

Over time, this process will break down the entire material until it returns back to the natural environment, leaving behind zero microplastics.

End of life pathways

We believe that where a material goes at the end of its life is just as important as its function and design. In fact, we see it as an integral component of its function and design. Which is why we consider the impact of our material in every eventuality.

Home Composting

The best conditions for our materials to degrade in the way that returns nutrients back into the earth is through home composting. Simply place your Shellworks packaging into the composter and watch it start to disappear. It’s not an overnight process – some of our products will naturally take longer to decompose. In the right conditions, our packaging will degrade within 52 weeks.

Industrial Composting

We know that access to compost heaps in urban areas is limited. Many local councils do provide composting bins that may be taken to industrial composting units, but check to see if they’ll accept compostable packaging. Every council has different regulations. If you get the green light, simply add your Shellworks packaging to either your food waste or composting bin and it will be taken to industrial composting facilities.


Through our own testing we have established our packaging is recyclable in principle, but we still have some work to do to get it accepted by a recycling facility near you. Unfortunately, it can take time for any new material to be accepted for recycling. In the meantime, check with our brand partners. Some offer a take-back scheme where you can bring back your Shellworks packaging and they’ll recycle or compost it for you.


Not something we recommend, ever. But if your packaging does happen to end up outside of the compost heap, it can be processed through usual waste facilities without harming the environment. And whilst it remains in the environment, it is non-toxic and won't leave behind any microplastics.

Marine pollution

Shellworks packaging will biodegrade in marine environments; but that’s no excuse to throw it in the sea!


It takes petroleum-based plastics hundreds of years to break down in landfill, and when they do, they generate microplastics. We really hope our material won’t end up in landfill, but if it does, the good thing is that it won’t break down into microplastics. We anticipate that it will break down the same way food sources, like a banana, might.

2350 BC

The first record of “making” compost in human history


2.7 million tonnes

the amount of compost produced in England in 2018



of cosmetics packaging is not recyclable



the amount of litter in the ocean that comes from plastic



its estimated that by this year, plastic will outweigh all fish in the sea


6.1 million tonnes

the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill in 2020 from the UK alone

Home Composting Industrial Composting Recycling Litter Marine pollution Landfill

Be part of doing
things better 

Our current solution to the problem of plastic pollution in the packaging industry is Vivomer. Made by the same microbes found in marine and soil environments, Vivomer is designed to last only as long as it needs to.

We think of it as a regenerative material. Which means if it’s composted, those very same microbes will consume Vivomer like it’s a food source. Over time, it will eventually disappear and help put nutrients back into the environment.