Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 29

inside at... Samsara Eco
continued from page 27
(ANU) in Canberra who were
working on the development
of enzymes that could degrade
plastic.
He contacted their supervisor
and by December of 2020,
Samsara Eco had been founded.
The startup, an initiative of
Main Sequence (a venture capital
fund founded by CSIRO, a
federal government-backed
research organization, to help
commercialise research projects),
the ANU, Woolworths
Group and Paul Riley, launched
with a team of just four people,
including the two ANU students,
Matthew Spence and
Vanessa Vongsouthi, under
the name Samsara. In Sanskrit,
Samsara means 'flowing
around' or 'world', in reference
to the cycle of life, death, rebirth,
and redeath - a fitting
designation for a company developing
a technology for 'infinite
recycling'.
Fast forward
Over the next two years, the
technology was further developed
and expanded. The idea
of using enzymes, Burtenshaw-Davies
said, is obviously
not new. Research teams - in
the UK and Japan, for example
- have also discovered
enzymes able to degrade plastic,
and they've been found in,
among others, mushrooms,
mealworms, and bacteria that
degrade plastic. But, she explained,
" none of those will really
be able to be adapted for
commercial-scale recycling
or degradation because they
evolved naturally. "
The scientists at Samsara
Eco have found ways to optimise
these enzymes and are
now aiming to commercialise
the technology at scale within
the short term. They have created
a proprietary algorithm to
design new-to-nature enzymes
specific for diff erent types of
plastics and specific for industrial
processes that have a low
carbon footprint, said Burtenshaw-Davies.
" And
they have been designed
to be very eff icient, so
we don't need energy- or carbon-intensive
preprocessing
steps for the plastic that we
recycle, " she said.
The first enzymes designed
by Samsara were specifically
targeted at PET/polyester and
these have already been validated
and patented. Currently,
the company is working to further
expand its enzyme library.
" We will be announcing
some new ones designed for
plastics found in the packaging
industry and in fashion and
textiles, but ... we are also looking
beyond that, at other sectors,
such as the automotive
industry, as well, " said Burtenshaw-Davies.
Samsara
Eco was able to focus
on expanding its product
portfolio due to the AU$6 million
(about €3.83 million) the
company raised in March 2022
in a funding round that was
backed by the Clean Energy
Finance Corporation (CEFC),
along with Woolworths
Group's W23 venture capital
and growth fund and CSIRO's
Main Sequence.
The company has already
attracted a few major companies
as customers, for whom it
will be recycling plastic at its
precommercial facility. However,
plans for a ramp-up to full
commercial scale have already
been announced. A new facility,
which will probably be sited
near Melbourne in Victoria and
which will have a projected
capacity of 20,000 tonnes, is
scheduled to be operational
from 2024. It will be Samsara's
first commercial-scale facility
but not the last: " Our goal is
to recycle 1.5 million tonnes of
plastic by 2030, " said Burtenshaw-Davies.
Funding
for Samsara's expansion
comes from, among
others, a successful Series A
funding round in October of
2022, participated in by existing
investors Main Sequence,
Woolworths Group's W23 and
CEFC, as well as new backers
Breakthrough Victoria, Singapore's
Temasek, Assembly Climate
Capital, DCVC and INP
Capital in which the company
continued on page 30
Certified Performance Enhancement Additives for Plastics Upcycling and Circular Economy
Certified Performance Enhancement Additives
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ormance Enhancement
Value Creation
mance Enhancement Additives for Plastics Upcycling and Circular Economy
PERFORMANCE
or Mechanical Properties
oduct Durability and Aesthetics
material Design Flexibility
ile End Use and Functionality
lation Cost Efficiency
Certified Performance Enhancement Additives for Plastics Upcycling and
VALUE
Increased Process Efficiency
Enhanced PCR Content, End-o
Recyclability and Reusability
Environmental Impact with Lo
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and Plastic Waste Reduct
Performance Enhancement
UP TO
PERFORMANCE
Superior Mechanical Properties
End Product Durability and Aesthetics
Multi-material Design Flexibility
Versatile End Use and Functionality
Formulation Cost Efficiency
5x
PERFORMANCE VALUE
Value Creation
Increased Process Efficiency
Enhanced PCR Content, End-of-Life
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Environmental Impact with Lower
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VALUE
UP TO
UP TO
5x
5x
March/April 2023
29

Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023

Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 3
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 12
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 13
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 14
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 15
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 16
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 17
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 18
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 19
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 20
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 21
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 22
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 23
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 24
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 25
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 26
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 27
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 28
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 29
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 30
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 31
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 32
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 33
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 35
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 36
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 37
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 38
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 39
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 40
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 41
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - 42
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - March/April 2023 - Cover4
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