High Tide

Over 7 million tons of plastic-coated paper are produced annually. Nearly all of which is destined for landfill. Paper can be recycled up to 25 times, but when it’s coated in plastic to protect against leakage, it is not compostable or recyclable. High Tide aims to solve this pervasive problem by producing a bio-based coating from renewable resources that enables compostability and recyclability at end of life. High Tide is designing materials for current and future waste management systems. Its coatings will comply with existing recycling and composting infrastructure, as well as degrade harmlessly in natural ecosystems and landfills. High Tide’s long-term vision is to be a leading material company helping move the world away from petroleum-based plastics. A successful future will be one where highly recyclable and degradable materials like paper can replace plastic packaging, and be discarded in blue AND green waste bins.

Algeon Materials

Algeon Materials is on a mission to fight climate change and reduce plastic pollution. Plastic manufacturing contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and plastic pollution is a serious threat to the environment. 90% of petroleum-based plastics have never been recycled and can take up to 500 years to degrade. Companies need access to materials that help them meet their business needs (mechanical properties, ESG goals, consumer desire), plastics manufacturers need access to a reliable material supply that works with their existing machinery, and consumers want products that don’t pollute the environment. Algeon Materials is creating sustainable and environmentally friendly bioplastics from kelp. Kelp, a macroalgae, has properties that lend themselves to plastic creation. Kelp is the ideal solution because it’s a regenerative resource and farming it requires virtually zero inputs: no land, fresh water, or fertilizer. This solution supports 7 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

ReFuel Technologies

ReFuel Technologies is centered on producing sustainable chemicals, fuels, and textiles with recovered inputs from PET plastic waste. By generating valuable renewable chemicals and polymers for these markets, ReFuel Technologies will provide sustainable chemical alternatives for companies who have implemented environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies for their operations to address market demand while reducing a critical waste problem facing our society.

Green Steel Printing

Green Steel Printing Co-founders, Olivia Dippo and Andy Zhao

Steel forms the backbone of our modern world, with over 1.5 billion tons of steel produced globally every year. However, the production of iron and steel contributes over 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it will be paramount to reduce those emissions to combat climate change. Green Steel Printing is a proprietary metal 3D printing technology that uses laser heating to directly manufacture steel objects without emitting any carbon dioxide. By fully converting iron-oxide ore to iron with green hydrogen, and then 3D printing steel parts in a continuous laser-powered process, Green Steel Printing has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing of iron and steel parts into a clean, zero-emissions process.

Viberent

While it is essential for fashion brands to reuse and recycle clothes, their efforts will not significantly reduce their carbon footprint in the long run because the rate of clothing production and consumption is only going to accelerate. Sustainable fashion ultimately means less fashion, which contradicts fashion’s current linear “take, make, and waste” model. This project helps fashion brands achieve on-demand production by supplying color-changing fibers to be spun into garments, minimizing the risk of overproduction. At the retail store, shoppers will be the ones to customize the color of their garments at the color-changing stations. Viberent’s technology has the potential to redefine the 3 R’s: Reduce textile and dye waste, Reuse clothes in a completely new way, and use Recycled material to create color-changing fibers. Let’s close the loop and transform linear fashion into circular fashion.

Wise Earthcare

Over 1.2 billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away in the United States every year–enough to fill up 1,100 shipping containers. The problem is that 99% of those toothbrushes are made from plastic that is non-recyclable and they end up in landfills or the ocean, contributing to the increase of pollution. The solution is a toothbrush that is 100% biodegradable, clinically validated by the American Dental Association, which is delivered directly to the consumer via subscription, retail, and dental offices. These products will be both clinically effective and sustainable and will include an array of oral care products, including toothbrushes for adults and kids, electric toothbrush replacement heads, floss, floss picks, toothpaste, and mouthwash. With validation from the ADA and both dentists and consumers regarding the design, this product can ensure that patients/users are receiving the best possible oral healthcare products, while still playing a positive role in the sustainability movement.  

HelioVap

Across the 2,700 islands of Indonesia, one in eight households lack clean water access. Traditional desalination technologies have too high energy requirements, costs, and brine discharges to be implemented in these coastal communities. As a result, households often purchase bottled water, which is both expensive and environmentally damaging. HelioVap is a floating, stand-alone desalination device that can provide reliable water access to coastal communities through an off-grid, zero-liquid discharge process that directly uses sunlight to separate seawater into its fundamental components. HelioVap is being designed to produce 75 L of water per day, which should be sufficient to meet the drinking and cooking requirements of five households through the utilization of alternative energy sources including sunlight, wind, and natural temperature gradients. This technology does not threaten biodiversity in the coastal ecosystems that over 50% of the population relies on for income, and the use of alternative energy sources reduces cost and carbon emissions of the process.

DissolvBio

Billions of pounds of polyethylene are produced each year, and unfortunately this compound can take thousands of years to break down. Polyethylene has also been linked to human cancers, groundwater toxification, and environmental damage. A reliable means of breaking down polyethylene is necessary and would have a huge impact. Unfortunately, microbial degradation of polyethylene is not common in nature. Polyethylene has been around for less than 100 years and enzyme evolution takes millennia, so microbes have not had enough time to develop this ability. However, recent techniques in Directed Evolution allow researchers to take evolution into the lab and speed it up to thousands of times its natural rate. This project proposes to apply Directed Evolution techniques to a specific enzyme tied to polyethylene degradation in order to create a novel enzyme capable of degrading polyethylene efficiently and reducing global plastic waste.

The Berkeley-India Stove Project


Improving Women’s Lives with Improved Cookstoves in Rural India
The ultimate goal of the Berkeley India Stove (BIS) Project is to deliver the BIS into the hands of the poorest 830 million people in India suffering from exposure to indoor air pollution due to their daily use of inefficient biomass cookstoves. An essential component of the project is to ensure the sustained adoption and long-term usage of the BIS, which reduces smoke emissions and fuelwood consumption by as much as 50% compared to traditional Indian stoves. The BIS is one of the best available cookstoves in the Indian market considering a performance to price ratio. Bolstered by strong partnerships on the ground and a comprehensive business plan, including innovative strategies for dissemination and monitoring, the BIS has the potential to dramatically curtail the harmful impacts of this critical environmental, health, and socioeconomic issue caused by inefficient stoves.