In April 2015, MicroGREEN Polymers announced that it had “ceased operations until further notice”, following the foreclosure of its assets by its largest investor.
The company had developed an excellent product, had won many prestigious industry honors, and its customers and sales were increasing, though it was not yet profitable. The demise of a company demonstrating such excellent traction serves as a reminder of the risks inherent in angel investing, and the many reasons that a start-up may fail.
Dan Catchpole of The Herald Business Journal wrote an analysis “Why vaunted MicroGreen Polymers of Arlington failed”. The article noted that MicroGREEN’s “convoluted investment structure discouraged new investors, while putting existing ones at pressure to keep funding”.
The singular mission of MicroGREEN Polymers is to provide the plastics industry and the world with environmentally sound plastics technologies that offer substantial cost savings. They are changing the way plastics are made and used, while reducing waste, energy consumption, water consumption, and carbon emissions.
Twenty years ago researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and later at the University of Washington, discovered that if you put plastic under pressure and expose it to a gas, such as CO2, it will become saturated with that gas while in the solid state. By exposing the saturated plastic to sufficient heat to soften it rather than melt it, the gas nucleates into billions of bubbles, held in place by the solid state plastic, so that the whole structure expands in a controllable manner resulting in a low density plastic with the same chemistry.
That precision means that MicroGREEN’s InCycle™ material can be engineered to an industry’s application demands. Starting with virgin, blended, or recycled PET, they introduce billions of precisely distributed microbubbles using their multi-patented Ad-Air technology. By varying the size and density of the bubbles, they can control the character of the finished product.
Ad-air technology greatly reduces the environmental impact of plastic containers by reducing the source material used. Their products typically range from 50% to 80% savings. For example, the amount of source material required to produce one 20 oz. PET bottle made from conventional PET can produce seven 12-oz. InCycle cups.
Category: Waste to Resource
Based in: Arlington, WA
Founded in: 2002