Lucy Hughes, a University of Sussex student, has created nothing short of disruption for the plastics industry. If it’s not already evident from the video, she has created a practical solution to one of the biggest sustainability challenges – plastic waste. Not only that, but through the use of the discarded fish skin and scales as a key ingredient for the bio-plastic, named MarinaTex she has addressed another massive problem; 50 million tonnes of waste produced globally by the fishing industry every year.

Protein Yield Infographic,

Plastic waste, and waste in general, is an inconceivably big problem. We are privy to the amount of waste we produce as individuals and maybe in the places where we work and maybe the cities we live in but in reality, nobody sees the entirety of waste that is produced globally. Even if you tried, you’d probably fail because there’s more waste in the place you checked 5 minutes ago. Net net – we need alternatives. Alternatives that are biodegradable and not degrading our environment. The plastics used to create the most environmentally damaging items like fishing gear, plastic bags, utensils, balloons, cigarette butts and bottle caps, are replaceable. Some are easier to replace than others and Lucy Hughes has given us one such alternative to single use plastic films and it is impressive, to say the very least.

Tying directly in with SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 14 Life Below Water, the young Briton has produced a piece of work that experts in the field are equally inspired by. No wonder she has won the James Dyson International Award, as well as being recognised by the World Economic Forum, BBC, Reuters and more!

MarinaTex epitomises the type of innovation we need in order to achieve a sustainable future and so a huge thank you to Lucy for her innovative and inspiring work. The next steps for MarinaTex involve further research and development, with an aim to be in production by 2021 and what an exciting journey this will be. So many potential applications for bioplastics and so much potential for positive environmental impact as a result. Check out the website to learn more about why MarinaTex, and the young innovator behind it, is going to become the next big player in the fast-changing plastics industry.



Aeropowder is a UK based start up that look at waste in a different way. In a much more innovative way than sticking it all in a landfill. Their aim is to “create useful materials from waste that exists in society” (Aeropowder website). Co-founders Elena Dieckmann and Ryan Robinson have looked at the increasingly problematic waste that is produced in our endless manufacturing industries and decided that “we must find innovative solutions so that the materials we create, use and dispose of do not have a harmful, lasting legacy” (Aeropowder website).

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Feathers, yes – feathers, are a growing issue for waste disposal in the poultry industry because as you can imagine, there is a lot of poultry being consumed globally, about 134 million chickens a day, and this all adds up to a massive amount of feathers as by-products. Instead of accepting that this is just the case, Aeropowder exists to capitalise on the lightweight, insulating, chemically resistant and physically strong characteristics of keratin, which is what feathers are made of, by using them to create high performance and environmentally friendly products.

Aeropowder are supported by experts in poultry waste processing, composites manufacturing, natural fibre processing, business finance and entrepreneurship and have received a number of awards, including the Mayor of London’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Competition and they also have a number of prestigious partners, all of which you can learn more about on their website.

This business makes awesome progress towards SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production through its innovative use of a waste byproduct to form useful materials. Thank you to Ryan and Elena for showing how taking on industrial scale problems is never impossible, especially if you can channel Aeropowder’s drive to succeed in their mission!


Aeropowder Website

The Great Bubble Barrier.

The Great Bubble Barrier. Even the name sounds so cool, wait till you hear about what they are all about. The Dutch start up, based in North Amsterdam, have this ambitious yet evidently achievable mission: “To remove as much plastic as possible from the environment. We do this by clearing as many flowing inland waterways in the world from plastics, as possible. This way we want to improve water quality and thereby quality of life for humans and animals.” (The Great Bubble Barrier Website). Their mission is one we can all get behind because the effect of plastic pollution is becoming more publicised but the unique selling point of this start-up is the way they set out to achieve it.

The Great Bubble Barrier Logo. Photo Credit:

Co-founders Francis Zoet, Saskia Studer and Anne Marieke Eveleens have found an application for existing bubble technology used currently during oil spillages, in the many waterways of Amsterdam. By diagonally placing a tube at the bed of the waterway and pumping oxygen through it, the waste within the waterway is thrust to the surface. The Bubble Barrier then guides the plastic, using the natural current, to a catchment system on the side of the waterway. One major benefit is that this stops the waste on its way to the ocean, as well as increasing the amount of oxygen in the eco-system – another major benefit for the marine life that live there.

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I really like this business. They have innovated existing technology so well and what’s more is that it is easily scalable and doesn’t require changes to policies or infrastructure. They’ve even come first in the Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge and got a major boost for their business development!

The Great Bubble Barrier are working towards a purpose that ties in predominantly to SDG 14 Life Below Water, but also can be seen to positively impact SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 13 Climate Action and SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production. A great deal of applause for the team at The Great Bubble Barrier for the huge strides they take towards a sustainable future! Make sure you check out their website and the Green Challenge to learn more about the The Great Bubble Barrier.


The Great Bubble Barrier Website

The Postcode Lotteries’ Green Challenge Website

SUST Beauty.

Ex-Harvey Nichols, expert buyer Zahra Broadfield founded SUST Beauty, a new website that gathers the most sustainable and best quality products in the beauty industry so that shoppers can buy the best, whilst minimising their impact on the environment.

SUST Logo. Photo Credit:

Bound for success, this business removes the arduous steps a consumer must go through if they want to verify the sustianbility impact of beauty products when they buy from big name retailers.

Also, just because the products are sustainable don’t be fooled into thinking they are not the best quality. “There’s still this perception that ethical beauty means having to compromise on something” (Referenced Article) and SUST exists to break this perception.

SDG 12

As another disruptive business idea, SUST is making strong headway in transforming us to become more responsible in our consumption – in line with SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production!

Applause for Zahra Broadfield’s SUST beauty, which is actively making looking beautiful no longer a burden on our planet! Check out the other articles shouting about SUST and also check out the SUST website to get your orders in for the awesome, yet wholesome products!


SUST Website

SUST Beauty: this new platform is going to change the way you shop and buy sustainable beauty products

SUST Beauty Is The New Place To Buy Sustainable Brands Online

Millican Re-Home.

I have about four bags in my room. I use two of them regularly, the third only now and then and the fourth collects dust and is still in my room to be an antique to show my grandkids what style meant in my day. In reality, I don’t need the fourth bag and I probably don’t need the third bag either, as I could just use one of the first two, now and then. So knowing I don’t need two out of the four bags I own, what should I do with them? Cue: Millican, the sustainable accessories brand based in Keswick, England.

Mavericks Smith 25L Moss – one of Millican’s popular products.
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Millican have recently launched their ‘Re-Home’ project. They are asking the public to send in their unwated bags to them, in exchange for a 5% discount on their products. Millican will take in your unwanted bag, fix and repair them, and then send them to those people who need them most, working with charities like The Calvert Trust , Action for Conservation and Bristol Bike Project.

SDG 12

This project helps us as consumers to become more responsible in our consumption and for Millican to become more responsible in their production, which takes a huge and exemplary step for SDG 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption. The end-of-life stage of a product is arguably the most problematic stage, as most either end up in a landfill or in the ocean, but this project hones in on this problem and provides an innovative alternative. A big thanks to Millican for the ‘Re-Home’ project, which in their co-founder’s own words, courtesy of Fashion United, is “an important part of this ongoing process of learning, sharing and innovating for a better future”.

Check out the links to find out more about how you can get involved in the ‘Re-Home’ project and also to take a look at their aesthetic journal and of course, to buy some of their products with the 5% discount you’ll receive if you do get involved with the project!

Do you know about any other projects like this where a product’s end-of-life stage is being addressed in a sustainable way? Maybe its old phones? Or shoes? Or clothes? Whatever it is, let us know in the comments below!


Millican Website

Millican Re-Home Project Details

Referenced News Article – Millican Launches Re-Home Your Bag Project