Currently, 5.25 trillion particles of plastic are in the world’s oceans with a majority of this is in the form of microplastics generated through the process of washing clothing. As modern clothes contain plastics, nylon, polyester, acrylic, and polyamide, a whopping 700,000 microfibres are released into the ocean after every machine wash.
Funds to scaleup
Matter, a tech startup from Bristol, is an innovation company that pioneers technology solutions for capturing, harvesting and recycling microplastics. In a recent development, the company just bagged £150K investment from British Design Fund to scaleup its innovative solutions for the capture, harvest and recycling of microplastics.
British Design Fund (BDF) works with ambitious British startups that are ready to scaleup and build thriving stand-out businesses. Apart from capital investment, BDF provides expert mentoring to support such companies to accelerate their growth plans.
Adam Root, the founder of Matter explained: “When I decided to try and come up with a way to tackle the microplastic problem, I didn’t have a lot of money. I’d left my job and we were living with my wife’s parents. I received a £250 ‘will it work’ grant from the Prince’s Trust and used it to take apart a washing machine and create a filter that would be able to capture the microplastics from the water. That’s when I had my ‘eureka’ moment, as I found that my idea worked. From there, I went on to start the company and we’ve been growing at pace ever since.”
Damon Bonser, CEO, British Design Fund, said: “We had been following Adam and his team’s growth over the past two years and were very impressed by the progress and impact being made by them in such an important sector. They are a great example of the type of purpose-led, product-driven start-ups the fund is keen to support and we look forward to seeing what they achieve moving forward.”
Addresses microplastics issue
Matter was founded in 2017 by Adam Root, a former Dyson engineer and keen scuba diver. After discovering the size of the microplastics problem, Adam set about using his skills and experience to engineer a solution.
Also, the company is also working with researchers and universities to develop new technologies for reusing the captured microfibres, to create a truly closed-loop system. For example, by developing them into sustainable packaging solutions.