Matthew Stone is an investor in clean tech and Managing Director of Teysha Technologies, overseeing innovative solutions to plastic pollution.
More than a decade of research, work and collaborative discussions have gone into our work at Teysha Technologies. The team has developed a unique proprietary tech that provides a new, unique and ground-breaking solution to the problem of plastic pollution.
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest global issues for humanity in both the short and long-term. Experts believe that around 10 million tonnes of plastic waste makes its way into our oceans every single year. And according to research from October 2020 from the Ocean Conservancy, the US has taken over from Asian countries as the biggest total producer of plastic waste. However, there isn’t a country in the world that isn’t adding to this problem.
Teysha Technologies aims to revolutionise solutions to plastic pollution
The team at Teysha Technologies works in partnership with some of the leading research scientists in the world as well as the best commercialisation and process specialists in the UK. Our aim is to find a new way to look at the issue of plastic pollution. We have created a revolutionary product and company to help solve this problem.
As a specialist producer of bioplastics made from natural waste sources, we’re now asking the cosmetics industry to work with us. By vastly reducing the number of conventional plastics and polymers within its products and packaging, the global cosmetics industry could dramatically change the trajectory of waste and pollution.
We’re in talks with a number of global cosmetic brands to discuss using our biodegradable bioplastics in order to reduce the use of microplastics. The damage done to the natural world by micro-plastics is absolutely devastating and if massive, sustained efforts are not made to address the issue now the problem will only get exponentially worse.
How the cosmetics industry can utilise new tech to drastically reduce plastic
Various legislative and regulatory changes have been introduced around the world over the last few years aimed at reducing the use of plastic within the cosmetics sector. However, the industry continues to rely heavily on using plastics as additives in their products. Microplastics are used within all kinds of beauty products, such as moisturisers, shampoos and much more. These miniscule fragments of polymer are used as viscosity regulators and emulsifiers in a wide variety of cosmetics products.
These products are then washed away and become part of the water and sewer system. Through these conduits, the microplastics seep into the environment, where they can stay for centuries. They are eaten and ingested by all kinds of animals, and therefore, in turn enter the food chain.
According to statistics released by the UK Government in 2018, a person who uses a shower gel that contains microplastics in a single shower, is responsible for up to 100,000 microbeads reaching the ocean. Many cosmetics products were using microbeads in exfoliating products, prior to the blanket ban that came into force in the same year. However, these tiny particles of plastic are still in many other products and are still rushing into the oceans.
Green plastic alternatives are already available to the cosmetics industry
We see no reason for cosmetic companies to still be using these extremely destructive polymers as additives. There are green alternatives and they’re available right now. Polymers do, of course, play an integral role in many cosmetics, and we understand the need to use them as stabilisers. However, there is no longer any reason why cosmetics manufacturers should use polymers that are damaging and environmentally unsustainable.
At Teysha, we’ve been spearheading research into developing the kinds of bioplastics that can replace these harmful polymers. With the aim of ensuring the biopolymers we produce contain all of the properties necessary for use in cosmetics and other products, we’ve developed a tuneable biopolymer that can be tailored for specific applications.
Cosmetics is a major area of focus for our bioplastics, but it’s by no means the only sector we work with. We support all kinds of sectors in their move away from unsustainable, environmentally damaging products.
Efforts must ramp up across all sectors to reduce plastic pollution
Over the next few years, legislation will continue to become stricter surrounding the use of plastics. We can already see the challenges facing the cosmetics industry in Europe due to the imminent implementation of microplastics restrictions by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This is due to come into force in early 2022.
European cosmetics companies should make the shift now to implementing biodegradable, sustainable and environmentally harmless alternatives into their products. This will save all kinds of complications and costs later on.
Teysha Technologies has developed a natural polycarbonate platform that has the ability to create totally biodegradable alternatives for existing plastics. Our bioplastics (AggiePol) is derived from sustainable feedstocks only. It’s a flexible and malleable product that can be mechanically, chemically and physically altered to suit different applications and uses. It is suitable for products made by the cosmetics industry, and for its packaging needs too.