Hungarians develop bacteria that breaks down disposable plastic

The Hungarian Poliloop biotech startup has received funding from Vespucci Partners and one of the world's most recognized international accelerators, Techstars over in the U.S.

The two founders of Poliloop, Liz Madaras and Krisztina Lévay, met at the master’s program in pharmaceutical chemistry and engineering at the Budapest University of Technology. They wanted more than a traditional career in chemical engineering, so they started to research how they could help protect nature. 

After about two years of development, they created a bacterial cocktail that can break down plastics used primarily in the food industry in six to eight weeks. By the end of the decomposition process, the plastics become organic sludge and compost, which can be used to produce bioplastics.

The Poliloop process requires no prior chemical treatment, processing or major cleaning of the plastic, and no harmful substances are released during the process. With this solution, Poliloop is creating a kind of circular economy that will allow large FMCG companies to reuse the same plastic packaging over and over again.

Poliloop entered Techstars’ three-month accelerator program in Abu Dhabi in early 2019, where they received advice on running a business and product development.

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