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February 11, 2021

Plastic Free Oceans — The Ubuntoo Newsletter

In the 1970s researchers began noticing plastic pellets on beaches and floating trash in the oceans. These scientists sounded the alarm that anthropogenic trash was polluting our marine environments, and since then our understanding of the problem of ocean plastic litter has only grown. Unfortunately, so has the production of plastic products. Thankfully, due to tireless efforts by conservation groups, scientists, and with the help of celebrities like Sir David Attenborough, most people today are aware of the threat of ocean plastic litter, and want to do something about it.  
The world has sprung into action. Consumer campaigns like ‘Say no to the straw’ and grassroots initiatives to ban single use plastics and clean up trashed beaches have exploded across the globe. Innovations and technologies are being researched and commercialized to aid in these efforts. There are machines that can suck up pellets from polluted beaches, stop plastic in rivers, and capture microplastic in home washing machines — and investors have taken note. Accelerators, innovation grants, and investment funds that focus on marine plastic have been growing each year — and there is a staggering amount of momentum building.
To help build and harness this momentum, Ubuntoo is launching the Plastic Free Oceans GreenHouse to identify techno-commercial solutions for the prevention and mitigation of ocean plastic litter. The GreenHouse will focus on solutions developed to manage ocean litter as well as on preventing pollution at key leakage points like rivers and wastewater. The GreenHouse will also catalogue recycling and end-of-life solutions for collected ocean litter.
Unlike our private GreenHouses, the Plastic Free Oceans GreenHouse is open to all of our subscribers. The GreenHouse has the following goals: 

  • Provide information about available marine litter management solutions or those under development. 
  • Leverage market knowledge (legislation, industry news, market evolution, etc.) to deepen the understanding of the viability of marine litter management 
  • Facilitate exchanges and connections between members of the GreenHouse, all of whom have a common interest in preventing marine litter and accelerating the development of management solutions  

In this issue of your Ubuntoo digest, we focus on some of the innovative solutions and newsmakers that will be available in the GreenHouse. Thanks for joining us in the fight against ocean plastic.  


Ho'ola One
A machine that isolates microplastics from the sandy beaches. 

Floating barriers that stop waste from entering the oceans.

Microfiber filters that catch microfibers from textiles during washing or drying.

#Tide ocean material
A global supply chain for 100% upcycled ocean bound plastic waste. 


Change Now Summit 2021 Between 27-29 May, 2021, take a deep dive into the world of positive innovation and discover, touch, test hundreds of innovations. In the brand new Grand Palais Ephemere, discover hundreds of solutions for the Planet, gathered by thematic areas. Many solutions already exist to build a sustainable world, they are waiting for you to be adopted!


Duvaltex Sorts Out the Nitty-Gritty of Recycling Ocean Plastic with a New Textile Release
Duvaltex’s Clean Impact Textiles is fabricated using a process that is engineered to be ecofriendly. The introduction of marine plastics to the formula helps expand its positive environmental impact.

Artificial intelligence software detects ocean plastics from the air
Researchers at the University of Barcelona have developed an algorithm that can detect and quantify marine litter through aerial imagery, something they hope can work with drones to autonomously scan the seas and assess the damage.

Seagrass Meadows are Helping Prevent Plastic Pollution in the Ocean
Scientists have discovered that a species underwater seagrass, Posidonia Oceanica, may be naturally trapping marine plastic and removing it from the sea.  Posidonia Oceanica covers a large percentage of the seafloor in the Mediterranean region.

Self-sustainable floating 'continent' cleans ocean waste 
An impressive design concept called the 8th Continent is a floating station concept that offers to solve one of our planet's most pressing issues: ocean waste.


In the business of dirty oceans: Overview of startups and entrepreneurs managing marine plastic
This study, by our GreenHouse curator Hanna Dijkstra et al., presents the first comprehensive overview of entrepreneurial and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) led solutions for marine plastic by analyzing a database of 105 SMEs categorized into four functions: prevention, collection, transformation and monitoring. Practitioners, policymakers and researchers can utilize the database to identify solutions, best practices, synergies and avenues for further research, such as quantifying the environmental impacts of this industry.  

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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