Sky Ocean Ventures, part of the Sky media group, has teamed up with the UK government to invest in 10 companies that have identified innovative solutions to solving the ocean plastics crisis.
The ideas range from biodegradable water bottles and packaging made from seaweed, to reducing the plastic microfibre waste by developing “clothes that grow with children”, Sky said in a 9 Aug statement.
Launched in March 2018, Sky Ocean Ventures is a £25m impact investment fund to support start-up companies that are developing ideas to address plastic litter in waterways.
This year, Sky Ocean Ventures and government innovation agency Innovate UK are allocating a £6m joint funding for the plastic pollution campaign. The 10 start-ups are the first to be funded under the commitment.
The recipients of the funding all have a pioneering idea in either material innovation, circular economy or responsible consumption.
“Consumers have shown they are keen for green and we’re committed to championing those innovative companies that lead the way,” said business secretary, Andrea Leadsom.
The first investment has already been awarded to Naturbeads, a company working to manufacture a replacement to the ocean-polluting microbeads. Microbeads have been banned in the UK since 2018.
The other nine companies to receive funding are:
• Bagboard, London: An advertising platform that combines digital and out-of-home advertising whilst offering a solution to single-use plastic bags.
• Blue Green Vision, Northumberland: A supplier of spectrometer illumination systems that can vastly improve recycling of plastics by sorting by type accurately.
• Choose Water, Edinburgh: A James Longcroft company supplying plastic-free biodegradable water bottles.
• DAME, London: A female hygiene supplier with products including reusable tampon applicators.
• Flexi-Hex, Cornwall: A manufacturer of 100% recyclable packaging sleeve for board sport industry.
• HD Wool, West Yorkshire: A 130-year-old wool company, currently investing in an advanced wool to replace synthetic polyester insulation.
• Oceanium, Oban, Scotland: A biotech start-up developing marine-safe biopackaging solutions.
• Petit Pli, London: A material innovation and Fash-Tech start-up engineering clothes that grow with children.
• And one unnamed biotech firm, whose name will be announced after the publication of its scientific discovery later this year.