About 40 million tons of polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, are produced each year. The plastic can be found in everything from tents, toys, pipes, flooring and billboards.
But PVC is very toxic, spewing chlorine into the air and damaging the ozone layer. According to Greenpeace, “PVC is one of the most environmentally damaging of all plastics.”
A startup from Golden, Colorado called Renegade Plastics has come up with a new non-toxic, recyclable fabric solution for hazardous PVC. The polypropylene-based material is free of lead, dioxin and phthalates and has a 33 to 49% lower carbon footprint than PVC-coated and laminated fabrics. It is also recyclable.
National award winner
Last week, Renegade competed at the Cleantech Open pitch competition in San Jose, California, winning a $50,000 prize.
Cleantech Open is the largest cleantech accelerator in the world. More than 90 companies participated in the program this year. After six months of mentoring, business coaching and networking with investors and partners, eighteen finalists made it to the national level.
Renegade Plastics came out on top. “It will set us up for success in building a circular economy for the plastics industry,” said Tony Ehrbar, CEO of Renegade Plastics.
Runner-up in the competition was Verde Technologies Incorporated, which develops a thin-film solar panel that is lightweight, flexible, affordable and easy to install due to its adhesive backing.
Verde Technologies Incorporated also won the National People’s Choice Award.