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Australian Open goes green: AO partners with Samsara

Samsara, an Australian enviro-tech startup, has teamed up with Tennis Australia at this year’s Australian Open (AO) to help reduce plastic waste. 

The partnership will see Samsara collect players’ single-use plastic bottles. The bottles will be diverted away from landfill and head to Samsara’s Canberra recycling lab to be infinitely renewed. 

Indefinitely recyclable plastic

Samsara last year launched a groundbreaking new technology that allows them to recycle plastic infinitely. 

The company uses plastic-eating enzymes to break products down in their Canberra lab. Once back to their core building blocks, products can be recreated into brand new plastic, again and again.  

The process is carbon-neutral and environmentally friendly. And the best thing is it doesn’t require any change to consumer behaviour.

The revolutionary biocatalyst technology that allows for the infinite recycling of plastics was developed with the Australian National University. The technology is particularly useful in recycling traditionally hard to recycle plastics, including coloured, multilayered and mixed plastics.

Addressing the pollution crisis 

Of the 2.5 million tonnes of plastic waste generated each year, only nine per cent is sent for recycling, while 84 per cent ends up in landfills. Last year, Samsara launched a mission to help end the plastic pollution crisis. 

CEO & Co-Founder of Samsara, Paul Riley, said, “We are faced with a plastics and climate crisis. While we’re more aware of the harm plastic has on our environment, we’re on track to produce even more of it in the decades to come. Current approaches to recycling don’t go far enough to address the current plastic crisis. We need a new approach that starts with how plastic is made and recycled.”

Current recycling methods are inefficient, time-intensive and costly and do not allow all plastic to be recycled or recycled repeatedly without degradation. 

Mr Riley continued:” Samsara is a significant breakthrough because we’re able to make plastic infinitely recyclable, so it no longer ends up in landfills or spilling into our environment. It also means that we never need to make plastic from fossil fuels again”.

This year, Samsara plans to build its first recycling plant to scale production in 2023. 

Partnership with AO

Samsara expects to collect approximately 5,000 single-use water bottles during the two-week Australian Open. 

Tim Jolley, Chief Strategy Officer at Tennis Australia, said, “We are committed to addressing the AO’s environmental impact through a diverse range of sustainability programs. As a formal investor in Samsara, we have a genuine stake in their future success.”

The partnership comes through Tennis Australia’s venture arm, Wildcard Ventures, which has taken an investment position in Samsara. 

Wildcard Ventures joins existing investors, including Woolworths Group, The Australian National University and deep tech venture fund Main Sequence founded by CSIRO. All investors have joined forces to tackle the plastic waste problem with cutting edge science. 

Mr Riley said, “We’re proud to be partnering with Tennis Australia and to help them on their mission to reduce their environmental impact on our planet. Tennis Australia is leading the way in using cutting-edge science to address one of the biggest problems we face, and we look forward to seeing others follow suit.”

Main Sequence’s social impact community, Voice Capital, leads the partnership between Tennis Australia and Samsara. Voice Capital connects individuals and organisations from entertainment, music, sport and culinary to startups on a mission to change the world positively. 

“Tennis Australia is proud to support Samsara’s groundbreaking technology,” Mr Jolley said.

Read more: How important will sustainability be in 2022? Very.

Read more:Let’s Talk: Simple ways to make your business more sustainable

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Heidi Heck

Heidi Heck

Heidi Heck is a Journalist at Dynamic Business. She is a student at the University of Queensland where she studies Journalism and Economics. Heidi has a passion for the stories of small business, as well as the bigger picture of economics.

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