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Extreme E Joins Forces with Polymateria to Tackle Global Plastic Pollution

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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.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210317005872/en/

Polymateria scientists checking materials at the company's labs in Imperial College, London (Photo: Business Wire)

Polymateria scientists checking materials at the company's labs in Imperial College, London (Photo: Business Wire)

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 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.

Please visit the Extreme E media centre to access images, videos and press releases: https://www.extreme-e.com/en/mediacentre

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Polymateria

Polymateria’s mission is to advance science to help nature deal with the plastic pollution crisis. Born from, and now based at, Imperial College London, we’re the first company in the world to prove scientifically that you can take the most likely sources of fugitive or littered plastic and return them to nature without creating microplastics, harming the natural environment or interfering with recycling streams at scale.

In February 2021, Polymateria demonstrated a world first in creating a polyethylene film that is both recyclable and biodegradable in the open environment. The announcement was made by Imperial College London and covered by the UK Daily Telegraph.

The British Standards Institutions’s new BSI PAS 9017 standard ensures claims of biodegradability in the open environment can be properly verified for the first time according to independent pass/fail criteria. The Standard and Polymateria’s technology were recently featured in National Geographic magazine: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/environment-and-conservation/2020/11/new-self-destructing-plastic-has-helped-define-a-new-british

In 2020, Puma became the first international brand to incorporate Polymateria’s technology into its shopping bags: https://www.polymateria.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/10663-STim_Polymateria_26072020-A.pdf

Polymateria also has a partnership with international chemical giant Clariant (now Avient) to bring the technology to South-East Asia: https://www.clariant.com/en/Corporate/News/2019/10/Clariant-and-Polymateria-launch-partnership-to-bring-new-Biotransformation-technology-to-market-in-S

Pour Les Femmes, the ethical brand founded by actor/activitist Robin Wright and designer Karen Fowler, is the first apparel brand to introduce Polyamteria’s technology into its packaging: https://pourlesfemmes.com/blogs/blog

The company is proud to be a founding signatory of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Terra Carta (Earth Charter) established under the Sustainable Markets Initiative.

About Extreme E:

Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which 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 in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.

To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcast, and on social media.

The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its on-board laboratory.

Season 1 Calendar:

Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia
3-4 April 2021
Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal
29-30 May 2021
Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
28-29 August 2021
Amazon X Prix: Pará, Brazil
23-24 October 2021
Glacier X Prix: Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
11-12 December 2021

About Enel Foundation: Founding Scientific Partner

Enel Foundation is non-profit organisation focusing on the crucial role of clean energy to ensure a sustainable future for all. By developing partnerships with pre-eminent experts and institution across the globe, leveraging on the vast knowledge of its founders, Enel Foundation conducts research to explore the implications of global challenges in the energy domain and offers education programs to the benefit of talents in the scientific, business and institutional realms.

About Continental Tyres: Founding Partner and Official Tyre Partner

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2019, Continental generated sales of €44.5 billion and currently employs more than 230,000 people in 59 countries and markets.

The Tyres business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tyre manufacturers with more than 56,000 employees and posted sales of €11.7 billion in 2019 in this business area. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tyre production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tyres business area includes services for the tyre trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tyres.

About CBMM: Founding Supplier

CBMM is the world leading supplier of niobium products and technology. Headquartered in Brazil, with offices and subsidiaries in China, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States. CBMM offers technical innovation to customers around the globe through a team of over 2,000 highly trained, dedicated professionals providing cutting-edge niobium products and technology to over 400 clients in around 40 countries.

About LuisaViaRoma:

Defined by the Financial Times as “A haven for directional fashion,” LUISAVIAROMA.COM is the top online luxury fashion destination with 5,000,000 visitors per month and worldwide shipping. With each new season, the website presents the collections of more than 600 established designers and young emerging talents.

About Neat Burger: Official Plant-based Partner

Neat Burger is the first of its kind – the planet-friendly, plant-based, full-flavoured game-changer the world has been waiting for. The world’s first plant-based sustainable burger chain, Neat Burger offers a menu that appeals to not only those who follow plant-based diets, but anyone, meat-eaters included, who wants to eat delicious meat-free dishes that are more sustainable, healthier and ethical. The brand is backed by seven-time FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, in collaboration with hospitality organisation The Cream Group and investors, as well as UNICEF Ambassador and early backer of Beyond Meat Tommaso Chiabra.

Neat Burger opened its first site in September 2019, just off Regent Street in London, and its second and third dine-in outlets at Camden Market and Soho in 2020. Plans for global expansion across Europe, the US and Middle East are already in place for 2021 and beyond.

Contact information

Extreme E Communications:

Julia Fry, Head of Communications
E: media@extreme-e.com / +44 7778 108754

Carla Corbet, MPA Creative
E: carla.corbet@mpacreative.com / +44 7944 077440

Polymateria
Julie Loschmann, Polymateria / +44 (0)7887 890 937
jl@polymateria.com

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