A startup in Bristol focusing on micro-plastic filter technology has attracted investments from funds associated with celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher. Matter, which is engaged in numerous projects aimed at halting micro-plastic contamination, has secured £7.84 million in a Series A funding round led by well-known Hollywood figures.
This new capital infusion will permit the Bristol firm to expand its technological capabilities in filtering micro-plastics and hasten the development of solutions for both commercial and industrial uses. By capturing micro-plastics that might otherwise end up in sewage sludge or be used as fertiliser or incinerated, Matter is working towards a complete circular solution.
One innovation from this Bristol firm is an appliance that attaches to washing machines, extracting micro-plastics from laundered clothing. Additionally, the company is actively pursuing the integration of its patented micro-plastic filtration system into both commercial and domestic washing machines.
The infiltration of micro-plastics into oceans and rivers adds a significant threat to both aquatic life and human beings. A staggering 700,000 micro-plastic fibres can be released into the water network from a single wash cycle. The matter is also exploring environmentally friendly recycling methods for the micro-plastics collected from laundry, such as repurposing them into packaging.
Micro-plastics, minuscule plastic fragments smaller than five millimetres, are created through the manufacturing and consumption of textiles and clothing. Up to 700,000 micro-plastic fibres can be discharged into waterways with each washing cycle. An alarming 171 trillion micro-plastic particles are believed to be present in our oceans, and increasing evidence indicates that micro-plastics pose threats to the environment, human health, and wildlife.
Matter's founder and CEO, Adam Root, articulated the company's mission: "Our vision is a world free from micro-pollutants. We are committed to forging the tools, techniques, and scalable responses required to effect this change."
The funding round was headed by S2G Ventures, Builders Vision's investment wing, and SOUNDWaves, with investors including Kutcher from "Two and a Half Men" and talent manager Guy Oseary. Other participants included Regeneration.VC, supported by Oscar-winner DiCaprio, and Katapult Ocean.
S2G Ventures' managing director Kate Danaher emphasised the importance of supporting initiatives like those of Matter, stating, "Investment in these kinds of solutions is vital, even indispensable, for safeguarding the long-term health of our oceans, and by extension, the overall well-being of our planet."
Matter's launch of its product coincides with upcoming French legislation that will require all new washing machines to be equipped with microfibre filters starting in January 2025.
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