Sustainable Packaging

Evanesce is accelerating the adoption of green packaging, while re-designing standard disposable food containers.

Evanesce is accelerating the deployment of green packaging for the benefit of the ocean economy, which protects the oceans from plastic toxins via biodegradable disposable food containers. Evanesce’s state-of-the-art technology, using molded starch products, takes approximately 90 days to decompose, which provides an alternative to single-use plastic products that are doing harm to our oceans.

The fourth addition to Billy Goat Brands’ investment portfolio of innovative and forward-thinking companies is Evanesce Packaging Solutions Inc. (“Evanesce”). Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, with US manufacturing facilities in South Carolina and Nevada, Evanesce is committed to developing innovative yet cost-effective green packaging solutions as alternatives for the food industry to help fight the global environmental crisis.

About Evanesce

Evanesce was founded by Douglas Horne, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the business. Mr. Horne sought out an opportunity in response to the rise in single-use plastic products, and the mounting pressure that they have applied to the environment. The overconsumption of single-use packaging has been on the rise and they have become a contributor to climate change. Plastics, and microplastics specifically, have been polluting our oceans and affecting ecosystems that regulates our planet’s temperatures. As a result, Evanesce was founded to develop a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic packaging. Using a patented technology that considers strength, insulation and nesting capabilities, Evanesce’s products are being designed to be functional yet environmentally friendly by being 100% compostable and organic.

Evanesce collaborated with Haas/Buhler – an expert in food processing equipment – to develop and commercialize its patented technology. Today, its Molded Starch Technology produces 100% compostable packaging material. All of Evanesce’s packaging solutions are free from PFAS and BPA and they decompose into soil within 90 days. All Evanesce products have a shelf life of two years and are leakproof as well as heat resistant, thereby making them both microwave and oven safe. Currently, Evanesce has been issued three patents, has one pending patent, and has made 17 other patent claims. Products such as meal trays, meat trays, containers, and cups are expected to enter the market in early 2022.

The global packaging industry is expected to reach $980 billion in market size by 2022, while the green packaging solutions industry is expected to reach $245 billion within the same time frame. As climate change continues to be an issue that influences how people consume products, the need for alternative packaging solutions is growing. Evanesce has expanded its operations to a second manufacturing facility in Nevada to meet the increased demand of sustainable packaging.

Evanesce’s green packaging solutions are already in use by various leading foodservice companies, grocers, restaurants, and convenience stores. Products can be found in Whole Foods, Save-on, Chipotle, Safeway, Costco, and Loblaws, with more grocery and restaurant chains being added on a regular basis.

As Evanesce continues to grow, it is on track to achieve its goal of become a leader in the food packaging space. With its state-of-the-art technology, Evanesce has recently been recognized by CIO Coverage as one of the Top 10 Innovative Food Packaging Companies to Watch in 2021. Another one of Evanesce’s goals is to make single-use plastics a thing of the past. With consumer demand increasing for more environmentally friendly packaging, there is a push for industries to adopt more sustainable, greener, and cost-effective packaging solutions.

The Future of Evanesce

Evanesce has global expansion plans of its patented solution for grocers, food service companies, and food manufacturers and processors. It has been in discussion with a wide range of leading specialty grocers and chains to carry its proprietary starch and fibre-based meat and meal trays. Evanesce green packaging solutions have a competitive price advantage and are approximately half the cost of leading green packaging alternatives on the market. Thanks to the mid-October opening of its manufacturing facility in South Carolina, Evanesce is expected to reach mass scale in early 2022.

Evanesce has also recently opened a manufacturing facility in Nevada with 114,000 square feet of space. Evanesce is well-positioned to produce millions of compostable green packaging solutions per day, such as Polylactic Acid (“PLA”) straws. With facilities from coast to coast across the United States, Evanesce has aggressive expansion plans to reach chain store operators, food service providers, and grocers.

Billy Goat Brands
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Evanesce & Billy Goat Brands

Billy Goat Brands (CSE: GOAT) owns a minority stake in Evanesce, which marked its fourth addition to a portfolio of rapidly growing companies focused on the ocean economy. The investment paved the way for GOAT to enter the green packaging solutions market and further diversified its portfolios of investments in environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) focused companies.

tony harris portrait

Key Stakeholder Q&A with Douglas Horne

Founder & CEO of Evanesce

Q: When did you get involved with the company?

A: Evanesce was founded with the premise that it is extremely important that we find packaging material that is more sustainable than we have had in the past. Plastics and Styrofoam take over 500 years to degrade in our landfills. People are concerned about our planet. Finding solutions that are compostable, biodegradable, and things that contribute to a circular economy are important. Evanesce was founded to acquire some technology that fit those criteria.

Being able to sell at a cost that is similar to traditional materials is what Evanesce has been able to achieve with a material that is far better for the environment than traditional plastics and Styrofoam. Moreover, it is also possible to be sold at a reasonable cost unlike a lot of other green products in the market that sell for multiples of what traditional products cost.

Q: How have you seen the company change and grow since then?

A: We are looking to have commercial production next year. We are in the process of finalizing our product mix and what our initial offering will be. One of the things that we can do is make a lot of diverse items, so we are working with several potential customers to define which items we will initially make and how we expand from there.

We have our own fibre product, and we also have a joint venture in plant-based plastics known as PLA, which is made from a base of corn starch. We can make a number of items out of PLA including straws, cups, lids, plates, and other things. We will soon have production and commercial availability of our straws and some other products as well.

Q: What are some opportunities for growth and market penetration that you’ve identified for Evanesce?

A: We are currently outfitting our manufacturing facility in South Carolina. We are excited about that and the ability to service both the East and West coasts of the United States.

I think the interesting part of what we have been able to achieve is we have taken equipment that has been used for decades in the manufacture of food and we have been able to adapt that equipment to make packaging material. That is really the key and exciting part of our process. It is off-the-shelf technology; it is technically proven so there is no risk on our manufacturing, this technology has been around for a lot of years.

The other thing that has helped us in coming to where we are now, is our relationship with our equipment manufacturing partner, Haas, which was acquired by the Buhler Group. Our relationship with them has certainly helped us instrumentally in reaching the position we are in today.

Q: How urgent is the need for sustainable packaging? Why?

A: I think it is a time for action rather than a time for discussions, and one of the things that I really like about our product, is that it actually, truly makes a real difference. We are talking about a very tangible concept that makes a real impact on waste in the world and how we leave things for future generations.

I think it is important to get the message out to a lot of different groups. One of the groups that spend a lot of time on advocacy is environmental groups. In the discussions we’ve had with these environmental groups, they too understand the benefits and want to see the promotion of these types of materials and the adoption of a circular economy so that things become far more sustainable and there is the realization of how we are affecting the planet with our actions.

In the News

Watch: Plant-based Packaging is the Future of Sustainable Packaging

Webinar on Plant-based Packaging is the Future of Sustainable Packaging presented by Douglas Horne, CEO and Founder of Evanesce.


What is the most environmentally friendly packaging?

Glass packaging

It is made from naturally occurring ingredients like sand and soda ash, and limestone. There’s also no physical difference between new and recycled grades of glass, so glass is infinitely recyclable. Also, it’s non-reactive so it can serve a wide range of functions after it’s been purchased.

Metal packaging

Metal has a lower chance of ending up in the landfill and is much easier to recycle. Recycling of aluminum and steels cans is considered a closed-loop process and fits well within the circular economy.

Paper packaging

Only 35% of paper products are recycled, which doesn’t necessarily offset the need for trees to be cut down. Most magazines, newspapers, office paper, and textbooks are almost always recyclable in a closed-loop process, meaning they’re able to be reused for the same purpose.

Traditional plastic products produced through the use of fossil fuels tend to use more energy, and in the end, 75% of all traditional plastic products end up in landfills or in our oceans. Traditional plastic is much harder to dispose of as it never actually ever biodegrades and ends up polluting our environment.

However, biodegradable plastics made from 100% plant-based ingredients are able to be easily degradable into soil meaning they are 100% recyclable and a part of the circular economy.

What qualifies as sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging refers to the sourcing, development, and use of packaging solutions that have little to no environmental impact and footprint. Typically, a life cycle analysis (“LCA”) will be conducted prior to determining if the packaging is sustainable. An LCA assesses the environmental impacts associated with every stage of a product’s life, meaning that it takes into account the manufacturing of the raw material, distribution, to company and end-consumer use, and disposal. The LCA will also project the carbon footprint over the entire lifecycle of the packaging. Using the LCA method is a data-driven strategy that allows you to measure if your packaging meets sustainability criteria.

Are biodegradable packing solutions more cost-efficient than plastic?

The cost associated with biodegradable packaging is much more cost-efficient from a manufacturing standpoint, it takes less to produce plant-based alternative packaging solutions than your traditional plastic products. Traditional plastic is made using gas and petroleum, due to rising oil prices, using recycled plastics or plant-based alternative plastics are cheaper to use than virgin plastic made from oil. A tonne of virgin PET which is the type of single-use plastic commonly used costs around ~CA$1,600 while recycled plastics costs around ~CA$250 per tonne.

Why should we stop using plastics packaging?

Humankind’s reliance on fossil fuels in order to make plastic packaging is making a negative impact on the environment. Billy Goat is an advocate for the ocean economy and for improving the health of our oceans. Therefore, it is committed to investing in companies that are paving the way for a cleaner and sustainable future for our planet.

Is PLA biodegradable and is it better than plastic?

PLA is the most common form of bioplastic and is found in many types of biodegradable and compostable packaging. PLA allows manufacturers to create packaging that decomposes into nature. Evanesce uses PLA for their packaging solutions while ensuring it is 100% biodegradable by using plant-based alternatives.

Traditional plastics are made from gas or petroleum and can be harmful to the environment, as the production of traditional plastics requires a large carbon footprint to be made.

Why is it important that packaging is biodegradable?

The widespread consumption of single-use plastics has placed in a heavy burden on the environment. Now, managing all of the packaging waste has created a crisis which is the result of two unresolved challenges:

  • Packaging recyclability — large amounts of packaging produced today cannot be recycled in existing systems. This is especially true for multi-material packaging, which today poses a significant challenge.
  • Packaging recycling and leakage — one way to be more sustainable or avoid making an unnecessarily large impact on the earth’s resources will be to develop fully biodegradable packaging. Therefore, it is important to develop more biodegradable products in order to curb the amount of waste being accumulated from single-use packaging.
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