World’s First Innovation Forum and Business Accelerator to Focus on Plastic Pollution Launched at Secretary Kerry’s Oceans Conference
June 16, 2014 – Washington, DC. – Think Beyond Plastic™, an Innovation Forum and Accelerator advancing entrepreneurship for solutions that measurably reduce plastic pollution, launched today at “Our Ocean”, an international oceans conference hosted by the Honorable John F. Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States of America. The Conference held in the Department of State gathered over 400 delegates from 80 nations in an action-oriented event to determine steps in protecting the ocean ecosystems.
The Think Beyond Plastic™ Accelerator is the first Accelerator in the world to focus on plastic pollution as an innovation opportunity, and will play a pivotal role in connecting the urgency of the global plastic pollution crisis with breakthrough solutions.
“We are honored to announce the launch of the Think Beyond Plastic™ Innovation Forum and Accelerator at the US State Department Conference on the Oceans, and to share our global mission to measurably reduce plastic pollution through innovation and entrepreneurship,” Daniella Russo, Chief Executive Officer of Think Beyond Plastic™.
Plastic is ubiquitous and used in everyday life by businesses and consumers, and global plastic production is growing fast, especially in the sectors for disposable plastic – items such as packaging, plastic bottles, plastic lids, plastic film, food packaging, and plastic utensils. At the same time, end of life issues also are growing and have become very visible and urgent to large global groups: consumer advocates, policy makers and the general public. Demand is growing for sustainable, non-toxic and healthy alternatives to the current disposable plastic products.
Think Beyond Plastic™ is poised to inspire and incubate entrepreneurship; to accelerate early stage businesses, and to provide pre-qualified opportunities for investors and brands – all with focus on sustainable solutions to plastic pollution.
The Think Beyond Plastic™ Executive Team has a blended experience in innovation, entrepreneurship, science, sustainability, major brand management and repositioning, and early stage business finance. The initial group of businesses in the Accelerator portfolio include PlastiPure, PulpWorks, Aspenware and NewGen Surgical, each with groundbreaking technologies reducing plastic pollution.
Says Paul Tasner, CEO of PulpWorks, “Our 100% compostable, molded fiber consumer product packaging is a direct replacement for the toxic and pervasive plastic packaging that pollutes oceans and jeopardizes health. We are very excited about the opportunity offered by Think Beyond Plastic to advance our business and address a big environmental issue.”
Rob Chase, CEO of NewGen Surgical, adds “Every piece of plastic matters; and the huge amount of waste generated from disposable medical supplies is a very big deal. With over 35 million skin staplers used each year, tons of plastic waste is burned or landfilled, every year. Our products, including the NGS35W Skin Stapler, will help reduce this and support Practice Greenhealth initiatives.”
Mike Usey, CEO of Plastipure, says “Almost all existing plastics today – and many cosmetics and silicones – release chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA). We believe that the best solution to address marine debris and environmental concerns is for businesses to develop, certify and deliver safer products that don’t leach harmful chemicals into people and the environment.”
Terry Bixby, Founding Partner of Aspenware, added “We are the only ‘truly compostable’ and sustainable alternative to plastic cutlery. With 100 billion pieces of disposable polystyrene cutlery ending up in landfills each year, the thought of playing with enzymes and GMO’s in bio-plastic doesn’t make sense when wood is already there as a simple and elegant solution.” For more information, please visit www.ThinkBeyondPlastic.com.