Planet Protector Packaging has won the inaugural Ocean Impact Pitchfest as it looks to fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 14: Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean.

The business was one of three Australian finalists out of 200 applications worldwide in the initiative hosted by Ocean Impact Organisation, all of which were pitching an innovation to positively impact the world’s oceans.

It is estimated 42 per cent of the 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans every year is from the packaging industry.

Planet Protector Packaging aims to remove polystyrene – which is often ingested by marine life – from supply chains by replacing it with environmentally responsible Woolpack insulated packaging made from sheep wool waste.

Joanne Howarth, CEO and founder, Planet Protector Packaging.
Joanne Howarth, CEO and founder, Planet Protector Packaging.

Planet Protector Packaging founder and CEO Joanne Howarth said it was an incredible honour to win the first Pitchfest.

“It supports us in our quest to eliminate polystyrene from our oceans and restore them to their abundant, flourishing state,” said Howarth.

“At Planet Protector Packaging, we hero the humble sheep, who has become a secret weapon in defending our oceans from polystyrene. Being able to celebrate this very proud milestone with other like-minded innovators, all of whom are doing incredible work to create an abundant and sustainable ocean is very inspiring.

“We would like to thank Ocean Impact Organisation for their vision and for supporting businesses like us who want to positively impact the oceans.”

Ocean Impact Organisation co-founder Tim Silverwood said, “The team at Planet Protector Packaging should be incredibly proud of their achievements in being recognised as the Winner from such a broad field of technologies and innovations.”

Since launching in 2016, Planet Protector Packaging has removed around 6.5 million polystyrene boxes from the supply chain, which is the equivalent of around 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools or around 100,000 cubic square metres of polystyrene.

As the  winner of the Ocean Impact Pitchfest 2020, Planet Protector Packaging will go home with a $15,000 cash prize by Bank Australia, Ocean Impact Organisation Support Package worth over $50,000, access to key business and science mentors, Ocean Impact Organisation Communications Boost and a free membership to the Ocean Impact Organisation Virtual Startup Community.

In case you missed it, we interviewed Joanne Howarthe for The PKN Podcast recently. Take a listen here

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