With plastic waste entering the ocean at a rate of 1 garbage truck per minute, it’s time to act. WWF and Impact Hub Amsterdam joined forces to support innovative startups that develop solutions to reduce plastic pollution and the leakage of plastic into the ocean.
During our seven-month Plastic Free Ocean Accelerator, seven startups will work with mentors, business and ocean experts, strategy advisors and investors on their entrepreneurial solutions for reducing plastic waste worldwide.
Without further ado, say hello to the next generation of plastic-free entrepreneurs!
By the Ocean We Unite | A journey to cleaner oceans
“Through sailing expeditions, as well as inspiring documentaries, lectures and workshops, we make people, business and governments aware of the plastic soup problem that is plaguing our oceans. Through conducting scientific research we increase knowledge of the causes and consequences of marine plastic pollution. To prevent more plastic from being discarded in nature, we give consumers practical tips to change their behaviour for the better. And to increase our positive impact, we join forces with individuals and organisations worldwide who share our ambition: protecting humankind, our oceans, flora and fauna against plastic pollution.”
Ioniqa | Limitless PET recycling
“We are a high-tech chemical company that contributes to the development of a circular economy through our production of bespoke magnetic smart materials and separation processes. Our game- changing depolymerisation technology removes impurities, takes out colorants and recycles PET plastic to its original raw materials, thus closing the loop. With these raw materials, food-grade PET can be produced at competitive price levels. Our platform technology is mainly focused on PET but we are developing applications for the infinite recycling of other materials, such as textiles and carpets.”
Plastic Road | Modular road structures
“Our concept features a prefabricated and hollow road structure made of recycled plastic. Its light weight and modular design makes the construction process faster and more e cient compared to that of traditional roads. Roads can be built in weeks instead of months. In addition, the Plastic Road is highly resistant to chemical corrosion and extreme weather. Our virtually maintenance-free road structure can easily handle temperatures as low as -40 and as high as 80 degrees Celsius. It is estimated to last three times longer than conventional structures. And that means less road work and fewer to no traffic jams and detours.”
Searious Busines | Closing corporate plastic loops
“We believe in the power of innovation and entrepreneurship to address complex environmental challenges, such as the plastic issue. We work together with committed manufacturers and for-profit organisations to help them lead by example, close their plastic loops and reduce their external impact on ocean ecosystems. To do so, we assess plastic use and create innovative, economically attractive alternatives at the source. Our work – to prevent plastics from ending up in our environment – is guided by five core principles: rethink, reuse, recycle, redesign and re-train. With the latter, we want to change how both producers and consumers treat and value plastic.”
Straw by Straw | Natural straw alternatives
“Each year, nearly 3 billion plastic straws are used in the Netherlands. And many of these end up anywhere but recycling facilities – in land lls, on our beaches and in the ocean, which is drowning in single-use plastics. After seeing footage of a turtle suffering with a straw stuck in its nose, we decided to fight the plastic issue with fun, sustainable substitutes: a natural straw and an edible, seaweed and fruit-powered alternative, which is in development. Our natural straws are organically farmed and collected after harvesting corn. No chemicals, bleach or plastics are part of this process so that we can preserve each straw’s essential features.”
Van Plestik | 3D printing with recycled plastic
“We use plastic waste as the material input for our 3D printers. In the Netherlands, we can transform such waste into unique, high-quality and a ordable objects such as custom-made furniture. Worldwide, we want to help solve the global plastic problem by contributing to the rise of new local industries. Many places in emerging markets don’t have access to conventional recycling facilities. But with our 3D printers we can close the plastic loop and enable reuse at the source. This will create new businesses that boost local economies while producing useful objects and preventing plastic pollution.”
Upp! | Upcycled construction materials
“We upcycle and recycle plastic waste into eco-friendly and durable construction materials that do not rot, splinter or leak. With an estimated lifespan of more than 50 years, our planks and poles are perfect for use in boardwalks, decks, bridges, corridors and balconies. Thanks to their low maintenance costs, our construction products are affordable and sustainable options for both households and building companies. We proudly established a market in Southeast Asia by importing planks and poles from Europe. Our next step is to create manufacturing locations in the same region, so we can successfully process and reduce local plastic waste.”