By Loralee Stevens, Special to the Business Journal
SAN RAFAEL — PulpWorks of San Rafael took a grand prize in the Think Beyond Plastic international competition and conference.
PulpWorks and DGrade Clothing, a United Arab Emirates designer and producer of clothing collections from recycled post-consumer plastic bottles, were winners of the Most Innovative Business award at the conference, held June 13–14 in Berkeley.
Each received a $10,000 prize presented by A-Spark Good Ventures of The Netherlands and $5,000 in legal services from Cooley, LLP. A-Spark has a primary focus on “impact investing.”
“I hope the award will lead to their investing in PulpWorks,” said Paul Tasner, company co-founder. “At any rate, it’ll get our name out to important people.
PulpWorks makes PW-Pack, which is compostable, all-pulp-and-paper packaging designed to replace literally billions of blister packs. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) blister packs are a significant and permanent presence in landfills, the cause of thousands of emergency room visits every year, and continue to be a financial burden on the public long after their use as a package.
The Think Beyond Plastic contest, which featured 100 green ventures from around the world, was held by the Berkeley-based Plastic Pollution Coalition.
Hosted by actor Ed Begley Jr., the inaugural conference brought together innovators, thought-leaders and entrepreneurs from around the world.
The competition and awards ceremony was sponsored by Elbaz Family Foundation with Ben Harper, Bonnaroo, One PacificCoast Bank, Rolling Stone Magazine and others; and included talks by best-selling author Daniel Goleman, entrepreneur Adam Werbach, as well as Leandro Herrero, Fran Seegull, Dan Imhoff and Prashanth Ramakrishna.
Special appearances included philosopher-comedienne Emily Levine, poet-songwriting duo Ellyn & Robbie, and notable attendees Alice Waters and Jackson Browne.
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