Following on from its recent support of swimmer Lewis Pugh’s ‘The Long Swim’, an initiative to generate awareness about the need to clean the world’s oceans, major broadcaster Sky is now teaming up with the UK government to address the issue of plastic waste.
The two has made a commitment to invest in startups that focus on creating ways to tackle the plastic crisis. Government agency Innovate UK will offer £3m in grants, in addition to the investment from from Sky Ocean Ventures. Created in March 2018, Sky Ocean Venture’s sole aim is to prevent plastic from making its way to oceans.
The joint fund will be available to companies that are seeking to bring to market new methods of preventing plastic from reaching the sea or removing the huge amount that is causing major issues to sea life already. So far, £1.4m has been invested with another £5m to come by March 2019. Over the next three to five years across Europe, a further £20m will be invested.
The fund will be limited to financing companies tackling ocean plastic. It has invested £1.4m so far and expects to commit at least £5m by March 2019 with a further £20m to be invested over the next three to five years across the EU.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “The ocean plastic crisis is one of the biggest concerns in the world today. If we make the right impact-driven investments, we have a real opportunity to make a difference.”
Sky Ocean Venture’s portfolio of investments include: Skipping Rocks, which makes edible, seaweed-based packaging which we wrote about here, biodegradable water bottle company Choose Water and Uzer, a French startup that has developed an app informing householders how to recycle different products.