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April 2019

Two Minerals Walk on a Beach

The FDA will reevaluate the approved sunscreen chemical active ingredients with the exception of mineral based Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. These two will continue to be General Regarded as Safe and Effective (GRASE). Mineral sunscreens are better for coral reefs and your lovely skin.

Mineral sunscreen brands have also improved their formulations to make them easy to apply, reduce white streaks, and increase their SPF factors. Our favorite brands are All Good and Goddess Garden. Check them out for the coming sun season.

One Word: Plastics

There’s a great future in getting rid of plastics! Over the last few months we saw a slew of announcements from countries, cities, and corporations reducing petroleum based plastic and increasing use of recycled and bio-based materials. Here are a few of our favorites.

ADM, Cargill, and Georgia-Pacific are joining forces to promote bio-based alternatives. Adidas will make more shoes using recycled plastic. Albertsons is phasing out Styrofoam in its cold chain. Berkeley will charge 25 cents for disposable cups. Samsung and Apple are eliminating plastic packaging. France is trying to increase demand for recycled plastic. L’Occitane Group plans 100% recycled packaging. KFC pledged to make all their consumer packaging recoverable or reusable. Unilever is developing reusable packaging.

One of the safer and degradable bio-based plastic alternatives is PHA. Unfortunately PHA is not yet produced at scale. Will 2019 be the year of PHA? Danimer, Full Cycle, and Mango hope so.

The Cost of Fluorinated Chemicals

Fluorinated chemicals (PFAS) are used in food packaging, cosmetics and personal care products, non-stick cookware, dental floss, performance apparel, and fire-fighting foams. The Nordic Council of Ministers released a report estimating the annual health-care costs associated with PFAS’ chronic toxicity at EUR 52 to 84 billion, for the European Economic Area. The EPA also agrees that PFAS chemicals are concerning and may move to regulate them.

Safer Made News

We had our final close in February and look forward to continue investing in companies leading in safer chemistry and materials, and bringing safer products to market. For leads and ideas get in touch with us at and

We also released our Safer Materials in Food Packaging report in March. The report articulates the innovation needs in food packaging and highlights the work of over 100 innovators.


  • Aunt Fannie’s, a maker of cleaning and pest control products raised $5 million.

  • Bactana, a developer of solutions that improve animals' gut health and biome to reduce antibiotics and hormones raised $1.3 million.

  • By Humankind, a personal care company trying to reduce plastic use raised $4 million.

  • Culture Biosciences, a biotech company developing automated fermentation technology raised $5.5 million.

  • Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty company raised $100 million.

  • Green Dot Bioplastics, a bioplastics additive manufacturer raised $6.5 million.

  • Little Spoon, a direct-to-consumer organic baby food company with modular packaging raised a $7 million.

  • Madison Reed, a cleaner ingredients hair color beauty company raised $51 million.

  • Motif Ingredients, a food ingredients company with another meat-replacement protein raised $90 million.

  • MycoTechnology, a functional food ingredients company raised $30 million.

  • Phylagen, a company using place specific biome signatures to help track materials in supply chains raised $14 million.

  • Renewal Mill, a startup that uses byproducts of food manufacturing to make food ingredients raised $2.5 million.

  • Skylar, a natural perfume brand raised $8 million.

  • Sustainable Bioproducts, a biotechnology company developing an edible protein based on bacteria found in hydrothermal vents raised $33 million.

  • Your Super, a maker of plant-based superfoods raised $5 million.


Procter & Gamble Co. has acquired This Is L. for $100 million. The L. brand of feminine hygiene products are made with organic cotton and natural ingredients.

Unilever acquired eco-friendly detergent line The Laundress for a reported $100 million.

Corbion, supplier of lactic acid for PLA, acquired Brazil bio-tech firm Granotec for $45 million.

Also Noted

Half the man your granddaddy was: sperm counts down by 50% in the past 80 years.

Stop eating fancy salt: your artisanal salt has microplastics in it, and more importantly it does not have iodine, which may be needed to help your thyroid fight off endocrine disruptors.


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