Plastic waste is a global problem. It clogs up beaches and oceans, kills wildlife and has grown so out of hand in some parts of Asia that local governments can’t keep up with the pollution. But now a new partnership promised to have technology help fix the plastic problem.
The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) which is a non-profit organization of companies in the plastic sector, recently announced a partnership with the financial and technology accelerator Plug and Play to create an specific accelerator program focused on the plastics value chain to identify startups with different innovations to address plastic waste in the environment.
This initiative, to be called the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform, will focus on identifying solutions to lower the impact of plastic waste in the environment. Plug and Play will run two programs a year in three hub locations: Silicon Valley, Paris, and Singapore.
The Alliance will work with its partners to select focus areas for each batch. From there, Plug and Play will source specific startups working on solutions in those areas. The programs will run for 12 weeks and accept 10 startups each. Each program will end with a Demo Day where Plug and Play and AEPW members have the opportunity invest in participants.
“I believe when we bring together all the stakeholders–large corporations, entrepreneurs, startups, and universities–you can create real change. By devoting resources and attention to this global issue of plastic waste, we can make a difference in the environment. Through this platform, I commit to spend more of my time on sustainability-focused initiatives and will invest in 20 startups in this space per year,” said Saeed Amidi, Founder & CEO of Plug and Play.
“Innovation is at the core of the Alliance. This partnership has a unique approach to identifying and supporting startups and innovations across the globe to fundamentally transform current waste management practices through new recycling technologies and by creating value for recycled plastics,” said Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.
The accelerator will engage Alliance members throughout the entire plastics value chain on infrastructure, education and engagement, innovation, and clean up efforts to keep plastic waste out of the environment.
“Plug and Play will be the connective tissue between each of the hubs and provide startups access to new markets and Alliance Members a collaboration vehicle across the network to put an end to plastic waste. This global network of structured accelerator programs (Hubs) will support the initiatives backed by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste – with the ultimate mission of eliminating plastic waste in our environment,” commented Michael Olmstead, CRO of Plug and Play.
Can technology help fix the plastic problem? Hopefully we’re going to find out.
The partnership is aligned with Plug and Play’s broader sustainability initiative. Applications are open for the first program, which will run from February through May 2020. Startups interested in this initiative are encouraged to apply: https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/end-plastic-waste/