An ANU-backed start-up has raised $54 million in their mission to rid the world of plastic pollution.
Samsara Eco is creating "infinite recycling" - developing a new way to break down plastic to its core molecules, which can be used to recreate new plastic over and over again.
The cash boost comes as the enviro-tech company pushes forward with plans to build its first plastic recycling facility later this year, ramping up to full-scale production in 2023. This will allow Samsara to recycle a massive 20,000 tonnes of plastic a year from 2024.
Samsara's new investors include Breakthrough Victoria, Temasek, Assembly Climate Capital, DCVC and INP Capital. Other co-investors in the Series A funding round include founding and returning investors; Main Sequence, Woolworths Group and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) Innovation Fund, managed by Virescent Ventures.
The capital round is also being used to grow the company's engineering team and develop its library of plastic-eating enzymes. Samsara is also looking into expanding its operations into Europe and North America.
Samsara launched in 2021 in partnership with ANU. Its ground-breaking technology uses enzymes to break plastic down to its core building blocks.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said Samara is an example of the power of research-powered innovation.
"It will take a real team effort to turn the tide on plastic pollution - and that's exactly what we're seeing with Samara and its investors," he said.
"I'm proud ANU is a driving force behind Samsara, bringing to life technology that can have real impact in the world."
Paul Riley, CEO and Founder of Samsara, said solving the plastics crisis will be key to solving the climate crisis.
"Unlike other alternative recycling practices, our process is economical, with a low carbon footprint and allows for the effective recycling of challenging plastics including coloured, multi-layered or mixed plastics and textiles," Mr Riley said.
"With our technology you never need to produce plastic from fossil fuels again."
For more information about Samsara visit https://www.samsaraeco.com/