Ikea acquires stake in NZ-based recycling startup Nilo

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva


Ikea has acquired a 12.5 per cent stake in Nilo, a New Zealand-based deep-tech company that has created and patented a plastic waste-derived adhesive for use in manufacturing wood-based boards. 

Nilo repurposes plastic waste into a non-toxic adhesive that addresses not just the plastic recycling problem but also replaces urea-formaldehyde, a highly-effective and durable adhesive but with a high carbon footprint. 

As part of the agreement, Andrew McIntosh, the innovation partnership leader at Ikea Innovation Ventures, has joined Nilo’s board.

“The investment in Nilo shows the company’s commitment to working with startups that can support and help the Ikea material innovation agenda,” said McIntosh.

 “The performance and physical qualities show promise, and we want to support Nilo and help develop the adhesive with a mutual ambition to get it into scaled trials.”

Glen Willoughby, CEO of Nilo, said the company’s vision extends beyond urea-formaldehyde to use enormous amounts of plastic waste, especially grades and types not readily recycled, to create a range of adhesives for use in different industrial applications. 

Additionally, the end-of-life products created with the adhesives will also be able to be reprocessed into new products, an essential for the circular economy.

“Our team has worked tirelessly on this, and to have our technology recognised by one of the world’s leading firms with deep expertise in the wood-based board market provides huge validation of what we created”, Willoughby concluded. 

“The knowledge and expertise Inter Ikea will bring will help Nilo progress our technology immensely.”

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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