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89 Simon Hombersley – plastics from plant protein

Circular Economy Podcast Ep89 Simon Hombersley - Xampla

Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, shares the story of how this Cambridge University spin-out has created the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use, pioneering the replacement of the most polluting plastics with natural alternatives.

Xampla’s ambition is to become the leader in natural polymers, and it’s been developing its natural polymer resin over the past 15 years. The polymer, which Xampla describes as a breakthrough material, performs just like synthetic polymers, but decomposes naturally and fully without harming the environment at the end of life.

Xampla is the first UK University spin-out to be awarded B Corp status and is working with multi-national companies, including Britvic, Gousto and Croda on new technologies.

Podcast host Catherine Weetman is a circular economy business advisor, workshop facilitator, speaker and writer.  Her award-winning book: A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business includes lots of practical examples and tips on getting started.  Catherine founded Rethink Global in 2013, to help businesses use circular, sustainable approaches to build a better business (and a better world).

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About Simon Hombersley

Simon Hombersley is CEO of Xampla, a Cambridge University spin-out that has created the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use, pioneering the replacement of the most polluting plastics with natural alternatives. Xampla’s ambition is to become the leader in natural polymers.

A serial cleantech entrepreneur, Simon is also the Founder of Lontra, an engineering firm developing and commercialising energy-saving compressors. Simon previously founded TwentyNinety, Puntios Limited, and was CEO of Oxford Flow.

Simon has been published in:

World Economic Forum: There’s a single-use plastic you’ll throw away today without realising

The European: Let nature prosper by design

Business Green: A solution to plastic pollution? A plastic that doesn’t pollute

In November 2021, Simon represented Xampla at a COP26 Tech Nation event “Scaling Climate Tech”, where he set out Xampla’s ambition to replace single-use plastic. 

About Xampla

Xampla is a spin-out from the University of Cambridge. Its natural polymer resin has been developed over the past 15 years. Its breakthrough material performs just like synthetic polymers, but decomposes naturally and fully without harming the environment at the end of life

Xampla is the first UK University spin-out to be awarded B Corp status and is working with multi-national companies, including Britvic, Gousto and Croda on new technologies.

 

Interview Transcript

Click here to open the transcript

Want to find out more about the circular economy?

If you’d like to learn more about the circular economy and how it could help your business, why not listen to Episode 1, or read our guide: What is the Circular Economy

To go deeper, you could buy Catherine’s book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy.  Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable. 

Please let us know what you think of the podcast – and we’d love it if you could leave us a review on iTunes, or wherever you find your podcasts.  Or send us an email

Podcast music

Thanks to Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, otherwise known as the brilliant, inventive and generous folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow for allowing me to use the instrumentals from the live version of Summat’s Brewin’ as music for the podcast. You can find the whole track (inspired by the Copper Family song “Oh Good Ale”) on their album, also called Summat’s Brewin’.  Or, follow them on Twitter.

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