Microplastics Killer, Matter, Gets $10M
The tiny toxic particles known as microplastics are a major threat to the health and sustainability of our oceans, waterways, and bodies. While it may seem impossible to eliminate all of the microplastics already in the environment, a company called Matter is leading the charge to stop their production. Matter has developed an innovative reusable filter to prevent microfibers from entering the ocean and dissolving. Matter, with the help of a recent $10 million investment, will change the way we combat microplastic pollution forever.
Fabrics made from synthetic materials, such as polyester, shed countless microplastic fibers during production, use, washing, and disposal. Microscopic polymer scraps are both long-lasting and toxic, and they enter the food chain via filter-feeding organisms, wreaking havoc on biology at every level. When the risks posed by microplastics became more apparent in 2017, Matter co-founder and CEO Adam Root understood the urgency of the situation. He saw microplastics being ingested by essential organisms like plankton, and saw how that affected fertility rates and the blood-brain barrier. Root understood the gravity of the situation and the need for quick action and creative responses.
Root used his mechanical engineering training and his time at Dyson and GE to create a product that would help reduce microplastic pollution. Gulp, an aftermarket washing machine filter funded by Kickstarter, was Matter’s first big hit. There is a clear need for eco-friendly solutions, as evidenced by the Gulp’s massive popularity among eco-conscious consumers. But the real innovation came with Matter’s regenerative filtration technology, which does away with throwaway filter components.
Matter acknowledges the need to address microplastic pollution on an industrial scale, despite the fact that the Gulp provides an effective solution at the consumer level. Microplastics are released in large quantities from large textile factories, contributing significantly to the contamination of water bodies. However, while each washing machine may only generate a gram of microplastics per cycle, the global impact of all those machines is staggering. Matter’s long-term goal is to eliminate the need for aftermarket solutions to this problem by integrating directly with washing machines.
The French government has already taken action to mandate microplastics mitigation measures in washing machines, and similar legislation is anticipated in other countries. Matter’s long-term goal is to work in tandem with appliance makers so that their filtration technology is seamlessly built into future washing machines. Matter’s strategy for combating microplastic pollution involves focusing on both individual consumers and large-scale manufacturers.
While Matter has not released any photos or details about their industrial-scale prototype, they have made significant strides toward creating a filter that can process millions of liters of wastewater every day. The prototype’s minimal footprint and unhindered output are consistent with Matter’s goal of eliminating unintended consequences. In the same way that the Gulp does not rely on disposable parts, this industrial-scale filter is a sustainable and cost-effective option for large-scale water treatment facilities.
Significant funding has been attracted by Matter’s dedication to solving the worldwide microplastic crisis. S2G Ventures and SOUNDWaves led the $10 million funding round, and other notable VC firms like Ashton Kutcher’s SOUNDWaves and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Regeneration.VC also participated. Matter will be able to collaborate with major clients in the wastewater treatment and textile industries thanks to these strategic investments that will unlock the industrial filtering segment of their business. Matter hopes to make significant headway in its fight against microplastic pollution by utilizing the infrastructure and resources of these industry giants.
Matter plans to conduct pilot projects in several countries, including Turkey, Mexico, India, and Sri Lanka, to refine their filtration technology and increase their global impact. The information gleaned from these pilot projects will help the company fine-tune its filtration systems to perform optimally in a variety of settings and with a variety of water treatment infrastructure. Matter plans to produce millions of filter units by 2025, making them an even more formidable opponent of microplastic pollution.
Microplastic pollution is a global problem that needs to be tackled by everyone, everywhere. The revolutionary filtration technology developed by Matter provides a realistic and long-term option for halting the introduction of new microplastics into our ecosystems. Matter’s mission is to mobilize the world to make the planet a better place for future generations by spreading awareness and forming partnerships with influential groups.
Companies like Matter must take the lead in finding creative solutions to the problem of microplastics and implementing widespread reform as evidence of their negative effects mounts. Matter’s cutting-edge regenerative filtration technology and lofty aims could make them a game-changer in the fight against microplastic pollution.
In summary, Matter’s innovative strategy for combating microplastic pollution may alter the course of sustainable development. Matter’s reusable filter is a giant leap forward in the fight against microplastics because it can stop microfibers from entering water systems. Matter is prepared to make an industrial-scale impact and work with major clients in the wastewater treatment and textile industries thanks to the backing of strategic investors. The world awaits Matter’s revolutionary filtration technology with bated breath as pilot projects are launched and production is ramped up. By taking on the problem of microplastic pollution head-on, we can create a safer, healthier future for everyone.
First reported on TechCrunch
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is Matter’s approach to addressing microplastic pollution?
A1: Matter employs a groundbreaking concept called “regenerative filtration.” This method involves collecting microplastic particles without the use of chemicals or disposable parts. The collected microplastics can be either reused for applications like insulation or disposed of responsibly.
Q2: How does Matter’s filtration technology work?
A2: Similar to a lint trap in a tumble dryer, Matter’s filter captures a significant portion of microfibers released during washing, preventing them from entering waterways. This reusable filter can be integrated into washing machines, both at the consumer and industrial levels, to mitigate the release of microplastics.
Q3: What is the scope of Matter’s solution?
A3: Matter’s solution addresses microplastic pollution at both individual and industrial scales. While consumer-level filters like the Gulp capture microplastics from individual washing machines, Matter aims to integrate their filtration technology directly into washing machines on an industrial scale to combat large-scale pollution.
Q4: How is Matter collaborating with washer manufacturers?
A4: Matter envisions partnering with washer manufacturers to seamlessly integrate their filtration technology as a standard feature in future machines. This approach ensures a comprehensive solution that covers both individual consumers and industrial manufacturers.
Q5: What role does legislation play in Matter’s mission?
A5: Matter aligns with efforts by governments to mitigate microplastic pollution. The French government, for example, has taken steps to require washers to incorporate microplastics mitigation measures. Similar legislation is expected in other countries, further highlighting the importance of Matter’s solution.
Q6: How has Matter attracted investment for its mission?
A6: Matter recently secured a $10 million funding round led by S2G Ventures and SOUNDWaves, with participation from renowned venture outfits such as Ashton Kutcher’s SOUNDWaves and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Regeneration.VC. These investments enable Matter to expand its industrial filtering segment and collaborate with major clients in the wastewater treatment and textile industries.
Q7: What are Matter’s plans for further development and expansion?
A7: Matter plans to conduct pilot projects in various countries, including Turkey, Mexico, India, and Sri Lanka. These pilot programs will optimize filtration systems for different environmental conditions and treatment facilities. Matter aims to scale up production to millions of filter units by 2025.
Q8: How does Matter contribute to a cleaner and safer environment?
A8: Matter’s innovative filtration technology prevents the release of new microplastics into ecosystems. By raising awareness and partnering with key stakeholders, Matter aims to create a global movement towards a cleaner and safer environment for future generations.
Q9: How does Matter’s technology contribute to sustainable living?
A9: Matter’s regenerative filtration technology captures microfibers before they reach waterways, contributing to sustainable living by reducing the harmful effects of microplastics. This approach aligns with efforts to create a healthier and more environmentally-friendly future.
Q10: What impact can Matter’s filtration technology have on microplastic pollution?
A10: Matter’s pioneering approach has the potential to reshape the future of sustainable living by significantly mitigating the consequences of microplastic pollution. Through collaboration with strategic investors and major clients, Matter aims to make an industrial-scale impact and drive positive change in the fight against microplastics.
Featured Image Credit: Aaron Meacham; Unsplash; Thank you!