Extreme E, the new electric racing series with a sustainable conscience, is joining forces with Polymateria and its ground-breaking technology which aims to tackle global plastic pollution. The two organisations are making this announcement on World Recycling Day.
An estimated 32% of all plastic packaging used globally does not get recycled or disposed of properly and a staggering 80 per cent 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 will return quickly and safely to nature if it ends up in the natural environment, while allowing for recycling to happen. If left unchecked, four billion tonnes of plastic pollution will enter our land and oceans by 2050 under a business-as-usual scenario. It’s clear more innovation is needed to solve this problem.
Extreme E and its race teams will use Polymateria’s Biotransformation technology at its global X Prix events, 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, Extreme E Founder and CEO, 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.”
Biotransformation technology is a brand new approach to ensuring that plastic which has escaped refuse streams can fully biodegrade in the natural environment, while still enabling the normal recycling process to take place. Polymateria’s scientists have created a formulation for plastics 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.
Niall Dunne, CEO of Polymateria, said: “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.
Extreme E, starting in Saudi Arabia on 3 April 2021, will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues.
The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles and clean energy solutions in the quest for a lower carbon future.