The founders dream

Our dream is to redesign our relationship with ressources by providing a solution for a zero waste economy in line with circular resource management. The greenhouse programme will enable us to build up a network, find market entry points and receive professional feedback to improve our product. Also we want to work out details of our business plan including financial aspects, marketing strategy and pricing of the product.

The challenge

Worldwide, 7 million tons of biowaste are produced by the seafood industry every year. Nevertheless, shellfish culture – such as mussels, oysters and clams – is considered an optimal environmentally ustainable form of aquaculture. It has minimal ecological impact compared to other seafood production systems.

Today large amounts of biowaste from shells is limiting the development the shellfish industry in certain regions by posing major financial and operational burdens on the sector.

A stunning 75% to 90% of the total weight of shellfish production consists of biomaterial from shells. France alone produces more than 200 000 tons of shellfish a year. Large quantities of shell waste are discarded on landfills, amounting to substantial transportation costs and GHG emissions. In developing countries, shell waste is often disposed in the sea, causing environmental contamination and posing a risk for public health.

The solution

Shells have a high content of calcium carbonate (95%), or limestone. While calcium carbonate obtained from oyster and mussel shells can replace commercially sourced calcium carbonate, the biomaterial is barely used. Our solution will repurpose the biomaterial into a useful resource, thereby avoiding costly and wasteful disposals on landfills. Made by Mussels will produce high-quality seashell powder (of different grain sizes), made from either mussel- or oyster shells. The chemical and physical properties of the shells make our products multipurpose. Today, biomaterial from shells has applications in the paper industry, the pharmaceutical industry and is used as a fertiliser within the agriculture sector. The material is also applied within cosmetics, detergents and animal feed supplements. Due to the chemical and physical properties of crushed seashells the material is also used as aggregates to replace sand, gravel and limestone for landscaping and construction purposes.

Process and supply

Made by Mussels will buy crushed, pre-processed sea shells from established seashell processing companies in France (e.g. OVIVE and COVED). We process the crushed shells into a fine-grade powder (of two different grain sizes) and package it accordingly. Our products are sold online to private consumers (B2C) and wholesalers (B2B) focussing primarily on the regional market, targeting coastal areas of France.seafood production systems. Today large amounts of biowaste from shells is limiting the development the shellfish industry in certain regions by posing major financial and operational burdens on the sector.
A stunning 75% to 90% of the total weight of shellfish production consists of biomaterial from shells. France alone produces more than 200 000 tons of shellfish a year. Large quantities of shell waste are discarded on landfills, amounting to substantial transportation costs and GHG emissions. In developing countries, shell waste is often disposed in the sea, causing environmental contamination and posing a risk for public health.

Research and Development

We are committed to an ambitious R&D strategy to develop and patent new production processes for upcycling shell waste on a large scale. Shell-based products with a high value added will increase the competitive advantage and revenue potential of Made by Mussels. High-impact fields of innovation include shell-based construction aggregates and additive manufacturing (AM) materials.

  1. With a global annual cement production of 33 billion tons, replacing 10% of sand or 5% of the cement powder with shell-based aggregates – as recommended by several University research projects – has the potential to repurpose large amounts of mussel shell waste.
  2. Additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing, presents a sustainable alternative to conventional centralised production systems. As sustainable alternative to conventional materials (plastic and metal based), we will develop a high quality, sustainable 3D printing material with properties of limestone for machines with an open filament system. The founder of D-Shape (large-scale AM printers), Enrico Dini, confirmed that aggregates from shell waste “is an excellent granular material [for 3D printing]”.

The climate impact

In Europe, around 0.6 tons per year per inhabitants per countries of minerals resources (concrete, sand and limestone) are imported. Mineral resources and plastic contributes roughly to 50% of all the imported products which corresponds to 4 tons of carbon dioxide per person per year. Another sources of primary materials is the mining and 400 million of tons of minerals are extracted in French mines, amounting to 90 million of tons of CO2 emitted per year.

The climate impact is three-fold:
1) Enabling use of locally sourced raw material, thereby avoiding import of resources (limestone, sand, gravel);


2) Decrease in the use of other materials in production (plastics and aggregates) by providing an alternative;


3) Reduce waste stream (to incinerators and landfills) of shellfish industries (nowadays degradable materials occupancy on landfill correspond to 30% of the main type of waste);


4) Encourage and help the development of shellfish farming which is more sustainable and have a very low carbon impact comparing to aquaculture for instance.

This enable to save up to 400 000 kg of CO2 a year in our beachhead market.

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