28 May 2021, London: Extreme E, the all-electric off-road racing series, has launched a LivingLab at its Ocean X Prix location – Lac Rose, Dakar – to showcase LyfeCycle, a new solution from British Innovators Polymateria for tackling the global plastic pollution pandemic.
An estimated 32 per cent of all plastic packaging used globally does not get recycled or disposed of properly & winds up in nature and a staggering 80 per cent of plastic found in the ocean comes from this unmanaged waste on land. Traditional plastics last thousands of years in the environment without degrading.
Polymateria has created LyfeCycle, the world’s first plastic that quickly and safely degrades in the natural environment leaving no toxins and microplastics behind. While the technology allows recycling to happen, it was specifically designed to target the types of plastics that are most likely to end up in nature.
Extreme E will use LyfeCycle cups, flexible films and cutlery during its Ocean X Prix event and will showcase how the products return to nature in real time through a LivingLab experiment as part of its legacy program.
Extreme E Founder Alejandro Agag came up with the concept of a LivingLab after learning about Polymateria’s LyfeCycle technology. The LivingLab was built by Pinewood Studios outside London in order to meet the complex technical requirements of needing to fully facilitate the natural environment but protect the scientific integrity of the experiment as the plastic materials fully and safely biodegrade and capture all of this visually.
The LivingLab will be revealed this Friday in Dakar on the evening of the Ocean X Prix event. It is a 1800 x 1200 x 1200mm glass box, covered with perforated steel and an internal insect mesh. The top part of the LivingLab allows for light, air and moisture to pass freely but ensures insects are kept out. The base is made porous so water, microbes and small creatures such as earthworms can pass through. During the Ocean X Prix, the LivingLab will be filled with soil from the racing course and used LyfeCycle products. Over the coming months the experiment will be closely studied by a group of independent scientists who will report their findings on the effectiveness of LyfeCycle technology.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E said: “When I learned about all the scientific rigour behind LyfeCycle I wanted to find a way to make it accessible to people so the world can start to understand and believe in the solutions.
“Plastic pollution is a major global problem and with 12 million tonnes of plastic being poured into our ocean every year, this innovation from Polymateria offers a true solution to this issue. I’m delighted to be working together to showcase solutions to the global climate crisis and to reveal this LivingLab at our Ocean X Prix here in Senegal.”
Niall Dunne, CEO of Polymateria said: “When Alejandro challenged us with the LivingLab concept we turned to the team at Pinewood Studios as their experience building complex structures for blockbuster movies was the only place in Britain capable of delivering on a brief like that.
“It is fantastic to be here in Senegal showcasing this solution, which we truly believe can help solve the plight of plastic pollution facing the world today.”
The Regional Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety Research Center of Dakar in Sénégal will manage the LivingLab after the Ocean X Prix and provide independent testing and validation of the biodegradation of the materials along with streaming the experiment on LyfeCycle.com.
Papa Sam Guèye, Director at The Regional Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety Research Center of Dakar said : “We are excited to be working with Extreme E and Polymateria to showcase real world solutions and validate the full and safe biodegradation of these materials, focusing specifically on the ecotoxilogical effects.”
The plastic pollution crisis is threatening marine life, ocean health, food safety and quality, human health and coastal tourism. It is just one of the issues Extreme E is highlighting during its Ocean X Prix, particularly through its Legacy Programme with EcoZone’s EcoBriques project where communities are producing ecobriques – PET bottles filled up with dry and non-recyclable waste, mainly post-consumer plastics – which will divert over 40 tonnes of waste from the landfill by engaging communities in ecological waste management practices and eco construction.
Extreme E’s Ocean X Prix race action kicks off tomorrow with qualifying sessions, before the Semi-Finals and Final on Sunday 30 May, all to be aired through a number of global broadcasters available to view here. Nine teams featuring some of the biggest names in motorsport including team founders and Formula One Champions Sir Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button, plus drivers Carlos Sainz Snr., Jamie Chadwick, Sébastien Loeb and Laia Sanz will all be competing for the winners title and Championship points.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com
About Extreme E:
Please visit the Extreme E media centre to access images, videos and press releases: https://www.extreme-e.com/en/mediacentre
Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.
To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcast, and on social media.
The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its on-board laboratory.
Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Not only will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.
Season 1 Calendar:
Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia
3-4 April 2021
Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal
29-30 May 2021
Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
28-29 August 2021
Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil
23-24 October 2021
Glacier X Prix: Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
11-12 December 2021
Polymateria’s mission is to advance science to help nature deal with the plastic pollution crisis. Born from, and now based at, Imperial College London, we’re the first company in the world to prove scientifically that you can take the most likely sources of fugitive or littered plastic and return them to nature without creating microplastics, harming the natural environment or interfering with recycling streams at scale.
In February 2021, Polymateria demonstrated a world first in creating a polyethylene film that is both recyclable and biodegradable in the open environment. The announcement was made by Imperial College London and covered by the UK Daily Telegraph.
The British Standards Institution’s new BSI PAS 9017 standard ensures claims of biodegradability in the open environment can be properly verified for the first time according to independent pass/fail criteria. The Standard and Polymateria’s technology were recently featured in National Geographic magazine: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/environment-and-conservation/2020/11/new-self-destructing-plastic-has-helped-define-a-new-british
In 2020, Puma became the first international brand to incorporate Polymateria’s technology into its shopping bags: https://www.polymateria.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/10663-STim_Polymateria_26072020-A.pdf
Polymateria also has a partnership with international chemical giant Clariant (now Avient) to bring the technology to South-East Asia: https://www.clariant.com/en/Corporate/News/2019/10/Clariant-and-Polymateria-launch-partnership-to-bring-new-Biotransformation-technology-to-market-in-S
Pour Les Femmes, the ethical brand founded by actor/activist Robin Wright and designer Karen Fowler, is the first apparel brand to introduce Polyamteria’s technology into its packaging: https://pourlesfemmes.com/blogs/blog
The company is proud to be a founding signatory of HRH The Prince of Wales’ Terra Carta (Earth Charter) established under the Sustainable Markets Initiative.
About Continental Tires: Founding Partner and Official Tire Partner
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. Continental generated preliminary sales of €37.7 billion in 2020 and currently employs more than 235,000 people in 58 countries and markets. In 2021, the company celebrates its 150th anniversary.
The Tires business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tire manufacturers with more than 56,000 employees and posted preliminary sales of €10.2 billion in 2020 in this business area. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tire production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tires business area includes services for the tire trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tires.
About CBMM: Founding Supplier
CBMM is the world leading supplier of niobium products and technology. Headquartered in Brazil, with offices and subsidiaries in China, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.
CBMM offers technical innovation to customers around the globe through a team of over 2,000 highly trained, dedicated professionals providing cutting-edge niobium products and technology to over 400 clients in around 40 countries.
Defined by the Financial Times as “A haven for directional fashion,” LUISAVIAROMA.COM is the top online luxury fashion destination with 5,000,000 visitors per month and worldwide shipping. With each new season, the website presents the collections of more than 600 established designers and young emerging talents.
About Zenith: Official Timekeeper and Founding Partner
ZENITH: TIME TO REACH YOUR STAR.
Zenith exists to inspire individuals to pursue their dreams and make them come true – against all odds. Since its establishment in 1865, Zenith became the first watch manufacture in the modern sense of the term, and its watches have accompanied extraordinary figures that dreamt big and strived to achieve the impossible – from Louis Blériot’s history-making flight across the English Channel to Felix Baumgartner’s record-setting stratospheric free-fall jump. Zenith is also highlighting visionary and trailblazing women – past and present – by celebrating their accomplishments and creating in 2020 its first-ever collection dedicated entirely to them, Defy Midnight.
With innovation as its guiding star, Zenith features exceptional in-house developed and manufactured movements in all its watches. Since the creation of the El Primero in 1969, the world’s first automatic chronograph calibre, Zenith has gone on to master fractions of the second with the Chronomaster Sport and its 1/10th of a second precision and the DEFY 21 with a precision of 1/100th of a second. Zenith has been shaping the future of Swiss watchmaking since 1865, accompanying those who dare to challenge themselves and break barriers. The time to reach your star is now.
About Allianz: Founding Partner and Official Insurance Partner
The Allianz Group is one of the world’s leading insurers and asset managers with more than 100 million private and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing around 790 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage 1.7 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we are amongst the leaders in the insurance industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2020, over 150,000 employees achieved total revenues of 140 billion euros and an operating profit of 10.8 billion euros for the group.
About Neat Burger: Official Plant-based Partner
Neat Burger is the first of its kind – the planet-friendly, plant-based, full-flavoured game-changer the world has been waiting for. The world’s first plant-based sustainable burger chain, Neat Burger offers a menu that appeals to not only those who follow plant-based diets, but anyone, meat-eaters included, who wants to eat delicious meat-free dishes that are more sustainable, healthier and ethical. The brand is backed by seven-time FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, in collaboration with hospitality organisation The Cream Group and investors, as well as UNICEF Ambassador and early backer of Beyond Meat Tommaso Chiabra. Neat Burger opened its first site in September 2019, just off Regent Street in London, and its second and third dine-in outlets at Camden Market and Soho in 2020. Plans for global expansion across Europe, the US and Middle East are already in place for 2021 and beyond.
About EY: Official Innovation Partner
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, strategy, transaction and consulting services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.
EY refers to the global organization, and may refer to one or more, of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. Information about how EY collects and uses personal data and a description of the rights individuals have under data protection legislation are available via ey.com/privacy. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.
This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global EY organization that also does not provide any services to clients.
About INTERprotección: Official Insurance Broker
INTERprotección is composed of a group of Mexican insurance, reinsurance and surety bond brokerage companies. With global presence and recognition, INTERprotección has more than 40 years of experience in management and comprehensive risk consulting in the Mexican market. Its business model is focused on bringing the client to the forefront and offering them the best service through innovative and disruptive products, more recently with its new brand inter.mx, its insurance digital platform that is transforming the insurtech game. Follow INTERprotección on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter @INTERproteccion
About XITE ENERGY:
XITE ENERGY was founded by Oliver Bennett and Megan Jones straight out of university two years ago. XITE brings disruptive innovation within the beverage industry; a new frontier to energy drinks. Designed around functionality but with no limitations on health, XITE ENERGY uses functional ingredients that are fused together to provide a cognitive boost, combining natural flavours, natural caffeine and zero sugar.