LONDON– A Tesla executive has left the electrical vehicle business and joined a London start-up that’s aiming to resolve the world’s plastic problem with a new chemical additive.
Steven Altmann-Richer, who led public law for U.K., Ireland and new markets at Tesla, signed up with London start-up Polymateria in the last few weeks as head of public affairs and regulative strategy, after spending three-and-a-half years at the U.S. car business.
Polymateria, which has around 25 personnel based out of Imperial College’s start-up incubator, has established a “biotransformation technology” that breaks down plastic into a wax-like compound that then gets digested by microorganisms. It has likewise produced a brand-new British requirement for biodegradable plastic.
” I wish to assist policymakers comprehend that this is a genuinely revolutionary solution which can enhance the environment in their country and worldwide,” said Altmann-Richer, who holds a master’s degree in environmental policy from Oxford University, on a call with CNBC.
The EU currently defines biodegradable plastics as those that can be composted at an industrial website. It does not, however, take into account plastics that degrade on their own in the natural environment and Altmann-Richer intends to alter this.
” Previous innovations that have declared to be naturally degradable in the natural surroundings have not been,” stated Altmann-Richer. “They have actually left the sort of microplastic beads behind, and for that reason there’s been a lot of hesitation of that technology.”
Polymateria is mainly concentrated on the food packaging industry as it is among the most significant consumers of plastic that winds up in the natural environment.
Produced in France, Polymateria’s additive includes roughly 10%-15% to the total expense of packaging. It also adds around 1%-2% of volume.
The company, which raised a series A funding round of ₤ 15 million at a valuation of ₤ 110 million earlier this year, has actually signed handle the likes of sportswear retailer Puma and plastics manufacturer Clariant.