Climate Innovations: CuanTec - Biotechnology

Climate Innovations

Join us as we explore how we can use innovation to tackle climate change as part of our Green Futures theme. Today, we are joined by CuanTec to investigate biotechnology and how we can use innovation to reduce plastic pollution and food waste.

Who are CuanTec?

CuanTec are a ground-breaking company based in Oban, Scotland. By looking at how nature uses its own materials, CuanTec scientists have developed a world first chitin-based packaging. This chitin bioplastic not only extends the shelf life of food wrapped within it but also breaks down completely unlike regular plastics which take about 450 years to decompose!

CuanTec understand that value can be found in waste (or “by-products”). What is waste to one industry can be the starting point for another. At the heart of CuanTec’s story is wanting to take care of the environment. They want to remove the issues of food waste and plastic pollution through an innovative approach.

What is Chitin?

A major source of chitin is the shells of shellfish, this means it can be found in abundance in nature. When fish processing companies have taken the meat from shellfish, the shells are usually discarded and go to waste. CuanTec can extract this chitin and use it to create their packaging. CuanTec are dedicated to a circular model where as little waste as possible is left behind, even their own by-products, like protein and minerals, can be used!

You can find out more about CuanTec and Chitin at

Glasgow Science Centre's new permanent exhibition, Idea No59 celebrates the innovative spirit in us all. On your next visit, come and explore the exciting process of taking ideas and bringing them to life.



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