Extreme E has partnered with ‘biotransfomation’ technology company Polymateria in a bid to tackle global plastic pollution.
The pair have made the announcement on World Recycling Day, and say that an estimated 32% of all plastic packaging does not get recycled or disposed of properly, with 80% of plastic found in the ocean comes from this unmanaged waste on land.
Polymateria has created the world’s first plastic with ‘time controlled open air biodegradability’ that makes it possible for the material to be returned to nature in six to twelve months, depending on the application, in comparison to the thousands of years it takes widespread single use plastics to break down. The plastic can also be recycled by normal methods.
At its global X Prix events, Extreme E and its teams will use Polymateria’s technology, including cups, a range of food packaging solutions and even truly biodegradable facemasks in future. The materials used on-site will be collected for recycling, with most of it turned into secondary applications.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO, Extreme E, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Polymateria to drive-up awareness of solutions for plastic pollution globally while reducing our own environmental footprint.
“The science-based approach it takes provides a unique opportunity to visualise their technology in action at key race sites, illustrating both the global problem but a credible solution in action. This is another example of Extreme E embracing the latest and best global innovations to tackle major environmental challenges.”
Niall Dunne, CEO, Polymateria, added: “It is incredibly exciting to be working with Extreme E which shares our passion for turning the tide on plastic pollution.
“Plastic pollution is a major global environmental crisis and more innovation and collaboration is needed if we are serious about solving this problem. Polymateria’s Biotransformation technology uniquely brings recycling together with biodegradability, fusing the mechanical and natural cycles to create a truly circular economy. We need materials to be recycled as a matter of priority but also leave no environmental harm should they find their way into the natural environment.
“Together with Extreme E, we are bringing peer reviewed science to life so that people can see what is possible and make their voices heard in demanding better innovation, meaningful change and an end to the fugitive plastic crisis.”
A select amount of the materials used at certain race-sites will be placed into a ‘living lab’ on location to demonstrate Biotransformation technology in action to a global audience. This living lab will be filmed over time, with analysis of the Biotransformation process conducted by leading independent scientists to ‘show the potential for this technology to address plastic pollution at scale globally’.