A UK EnviroTech backed by Hollywood stars has debuted in the United States.

Matter, headquartered in Bristol, previewed its pioneering microplastic filter technology for washing machines for the first time in the country next to the startup stage at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The company has pioneered solutions for capturing, harvesting and recycling microplastics. It says the technology could help slash microplastic pollution released by domestic laundry appliances into waterways across North America.

There are now more than 171 trillion pieces of microplastic floating in our waters. The pervasive nature and negative impact of these toxic pollutants seeping into our environment – and even finding a way into our own bodies – is a serious concern.

Textiles create 35% of the world’s primary microplastic pollution. Today some 60% of textiles are now made from plastic fibres. Every time clothes are washed, up to 700,000 plastic fibres are released from washing machines into our rivers and oceans.

Top-loading washing machines, popular in North America, can emit up to seven times more than this.

Matter, which featured on our EnviroTech 50 ranking last year, is working across the laundry sector to integrate their patented microplastic filtration technology into domestic and commercial washing machines. Its Gulp product is a retrofittable washing machine microfibre filter which can be installed alongside all US washing machines.  

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Gulp is compatible with any detergent and does not require replacement filters or other parts. The versatility of being able to position Gulp on top of a washing machine and low down beside a machine makes it ideal for the US market.  

The filtered microfibres caught by Gulp, a substance which is like the lint from a tumble dryer, can be returned for recycling. It launches in Europe in 2024, with a North American model planned to follow.

In addition, the company is working alongside industry to install microplastic filtration technology inside domestic and commercial washing machines and dryers.

Exhibiting at CES Las Vegas, Matter is looking for partners to join them on the journey. Founder and CEO Adam Root said: “Our mission is to capture microplastics before they reach the world’s waterways, and in doing so create a circular economy from the captured material.  

“We have a sustainable, scalable piece of technology that empowers people to become part of the solution and make a real difference.  

“At CES Las Vegas we look forward to meeting with industry to work together to tackle the profound problem of microplastic pollution from laundry.”

Last year the firm raised £7.9m in Series A investment from S2G Ventures, the direct investment team for Builders Vision and SOUNDwaves, the sustainability-focused investment vehicle backed by Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary. 

Additional investment came from Leonardo DiCaprio-backed consumer ClimateTech fund Regeneration.VC and Katapult Ocean.

Matter bolstered its C-suite following the Series A with industry experts Martin Allman and Jess Middlemiss joining as chief commercial officer and chief technology officer respectively.

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