Usually people say, unequivocally, that it’s too good to be true.
They’re the words of Polymateria’s CEO Niall Dunne, describing the reaction their product receives when they’re first introduced.
I recently travelled to their London HQ to meet Niall, hear about Polymateria's story so far and find out why those coming into contact with their innovative solution should, in fact, believe the hype.
Watch our full interview here.
Started in 2015, the company first sought to learn why previous efforts to biodegrade plastic had largely failed and sought to address these limitations with a patented technology which make single-use plastic products become fully biodegradable. Their mission is to try and solve the global plastic emergency with their proprietary ‘biotransformation’ processes. In layman’s terms, their process makes plastic which, at a pre-approved time, becomes vulnerable to the elements and becomes biodegradable leaving no microplastic and without harming the recycling process.
The solution is sophisticated enough that they’re able to choose the month that the plastic will start breaking down and a couple of weeks after that, it’s completely lost it’s structural integrity and started the process of returning to nature. Their additive attacks the molecular structure of the plastic, and their patented prebiotic technology draws in microbes, fungi and bacteria to then attack and fully assimilate the material.
The problem that Polymateria are looking to address is huge. During or conversation Niall mentioned that we’ve only recycled around 9% of all the plastic we’ve produced since the 1950s. In addition, even in today’s environmentally conscious times, 32% of all plastics produced every year end up leaking into the natural environment.
It’s got to the point where a host of global organisations are coming to terms with the scale of the ‘global emergency’ that is plastic waste. Polymateria hopes that they can at least contribute to the solution to this emergency as part of the global efforts against the problem. To really help, Polymateria believe that they could, and should, become the new normal in plastic production, where expiry dates on packaging are as commonplace as they are on its’ contents.
Becoming the new normal in such a vast industry; infiltrating the production processes of multi-billion dollar businesses is no easy task. However, they have an aggressive growth strategy and have gone from what Niall described as a ‘standing start’ this time last year to having an extremely exciting commercial growth strategy as we look ahead to the next couple of years.
Originally published in November 2018, we've updated this list of the most environmentally conscious companies in the chemicals space.