Nathalie Berezina is the Founder, CEO and CSO of Norbite. A passionate scientist, Nathalie has been working as Senior Scientist at Materia Nova before becoming CTO and CSO at Ynsect, a biotech company. She holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry and Biotechnology, as well as Master of Science in Chemical Engineering.

What is the Challenge?

Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year for use in a wide variety of applications, and every year 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean. Today, single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Many of these products, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, have a lifespan of mere minutes to hours, yet they may persist in the environment for hundreds of years.

What is the Solution?

Norbite transforms plastic waste into sustainable goods by means of an insect-based biorefinery. The selected insects possess the extraordinary capacity to naturally digest plastic. Norbite takes advantage of this feeding specificity and has developed a proprietary vertical farming technology to enable the insects to perform at industrial scale.

The insects are used to produce food and feed proteins, antimicrobial peptides to fight bacteria and elicitors that work as vaccines for plants to protect them against pests without using harmful pesticides. Even the dejections of the insects are used as biofertilizers, making this process a great example of a circular business model.