How 8 start-ups tackle plastic pollution

A new virtual event in May features eight startup companies that will showcase technologies to combat plastic pollution and waste, through innovation in raw materials and end-of-life reuse and recycling.

The Rethinking Materials summit, scheduled for May 19 and 20, is the first materials-related summit by U.K.’s Rethink Events. The last ten years they produced summits around the world like the Future Food-Tech Series in London, New York, San Francisco and Singapore; the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit Series in London, Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco, São Paulo and Singapore; and the World Waste to Energy & Resources Summit in London.

Now, the summit in may gives eight start-ups a stage on which they will showcase breakthrough technologies to combat pollution and waste, through innovation in raw materials and end-of-life re-use and recycling. Sustainable, reliable and scalable: the start-ups are all committed to transforming the supply chain, yet each offers their unique approach to achieve this. Four are pursuing biobased solutions and four are pursuing circular solutions.

Algaeing by Algalife (Israel) explores a holistic and sustainable development of new materials which positively affect both the environment and the human skin. “We develop innovative natural and healthy pigments and fibers, from the same microorganisms – the algae,” shares Renana Krebs, Co-Founder and CEO.

carbonauten Polymers (Germany) has developed a system that immediately and effectively reduces CO2 emissions and costs for companies and municipalities. “We are developing decentralized sites around the world in the immediate vicinity of biomass residues, waste materials or energy consumers,” describes Christina Granacher, Co-Founder and CEO.

Gelatex Technologies’ (Estonia) patent-pending technology can reduce costs by over 90% and bring the use of bio-based nanofibers to mass-scale in various applications. “Gelatex makes using bio-based nanofibers possible in applications where it was not worth it before because of slow production and high prices, such as cultured meat or filtration,” explains Mari-Ann Meigo, Co-Founder & COO.

Xampla (UK) is leading the charge in plant-protein materials, a next generation material that is 100% a natural replacement for plastic. “Our next generation material performs like synthetic polymers, but decomposes naturally and fully, without harming the environment,” details Simon Hombersley, CEO.

Empower (Norway) uses digitization, cloud-data and blockchain technology to store and facilitate seamless sharing of information about plastic waste and map waste flows to ensure that the plastic ends up where it has the highest value and the lowest cost to society. “Our mission is to ensure that all materials have a value and can be tracked from production to new resources, and back into new sustainable products again, with a vision to close the tap on plastic waste and recreate a world without waste, a truly circular economy,” shares Wilhelm Myrer, Founder and CEO.

Genecis Bioindustries (Canada) is a bio-cleantech company that reprograms bacteria to make premium materials from low-value organic waste. The company’s first product line is based on high-quality biodegradable polymers that can be used to make thermo-resistant packaging, compostable coffee pods and 3D printing filaments. “By developing a technology platform that uses organic waste as the feedstock, Genecis is able to dramatically reduce the cost of producing these plastics while eliminating the use of fossil fuels in plastics production,” details Abdul Khogali, COO.

Magnomer (USA) has developed magnetizable inks for enhanced recycling. “Our inks can be seamlessly integrated into current packaging, improving separation in existing recycling operations,” shares Ravish Majithia, Founder and CEO.

Scindo (UK) is a cleantech start-up harnessing the power of enzymes to recycle the unrecyclables.“We believe that finding novel ways to break down plastic polymers into useful molecular components has the potential to make plastic waste one of the cheapest feedstocks available, and one of the most impactful in terms of circularity and carbon recycling,”explains Gustaf Hemberg, Co-Founder and CEO.