Poliloop’s bacteria cocktail is able to consume any single-use plastic in seven weeks. In fact, their process is able to remove the plastic without any prior chemical treatment, processing, or major cleaning, and no harmful substances are released during the process.
Poliloop was founded by Hungarian Liz Madaras (CEO) and Krisztina Lévay (CTO), who met at Budapest University of Technology and Economics during their masters in Pharmaceutical Engineering. Gábor Antal joined them to deal with operational and back-office tasks, and their team was recently joined by Colin Helm responsible for sales and advertisement.
Poliloop joined American Techstars’ three-month Abu Dhabi program at the beginning of 2019, where they received advice on starting and developing a business, as well as how to develop their product.
Liz and Krisztina wanted to find a way in which their professional knowledge could help the Earth. They started doing lab research in their free time and on the weekends using whatever resources they had. The final cocktail is the product of 2 years of research.
Their bacterial cocktail basically consumes plastic packaging waste. The cocktail can consume all types of single-use plastic in 6-8 weeks.
They can use the carbon in plastic as a sole carbon source, integrating it into their metabolism. The process is akin to the way organic waste is consumed in composting piles, but the raw materials here are fossil-based. Their bacteria can turn what was once a fossil-based product (plastic packaging) into what it originally was, millions of years ago, part of the natural ecosystem of Earth. This way, bioplastic can be created. Thus, the same plastic packaging can be used over and over again.
They have recently started doing industrial testing, after Vespucci Partners and Techstars both invested in Poliloop. Several Fortune 500 companies have already indicated their interest in working with Poliloop.
“Our mission is to provide an eco-friendly and scalable answer to the crisis. We aim to offer an industrially relevant solution to deal with unrecyclable plastics by mimicking nature, using the once polluting plastic waste as a carbon-rich food source for our bacteria, who in turn create valuable end-product for us to use and integrate into a global circular ecosystem.”