Eight Start-ups Tackling Plastic Pollution Through Material Innovation and Circular Technologies

With climate change, resource scarcity and plastic pollution high priorities for brands and investors, ambitious innovators are driving forward new solutions in material science that will contribute towards a circular economy.

At the Rethinking Materials summit on May 19-20, eight start-ups 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.


Through the adoption of more bio-based materials we can move towards solutions that are healthier for us and the planet, and step away from fossil fuel feedstocks. Meet four start-ups ready to unveil their scalable bio-based 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.


Technology enabling re-use, recycling and resource recovery will play a pivotal role in developing a more sustainable loop for materials. Meet four start-ups at the forefront of this innovation: 

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.

Many more game-changing early and mid-stage companies will participate at the virtual Rethinking Materials Summit on May 19-20, which will bring together brands and retailers, plastics producers, converters, manufacturers, technology providers, regulators, start-ups and investors for two days of high impact online networking and knowledge exchange.

The full program, speaking faculty and delegate registration are available now at www.rethinkingmaterials.com