LAUNCH Fabrics

Akshay Sethi: Ambercycle


Ambercycle’s novel process lowers the cost of recycling plastics and provides waste-generators and producers a sustainable and economically sensible choice for the disposal and synthesis of plastics.


Plastics are pervasive; they composite many products from cars to clothing. The market for plastics depend heavily on the price of oil but also on all of the economic, environmental, and political ramifications associated with petroleum-based products. Most people assume the solution is recycling. While this is partially true, current recycling technologies actually epitomize inefficiency, utilizing millions of kilojoules of energy at extremely low efficiency rates and often yielding low quality products.


Ambercycle focuses on making plastic recycling profitable and sustainable by using synthetic biology to engineer custom-tailored organisms that can degrade plastics into its chemical components. The new technology harnesses engineered enzymes to degrade plastic bottles, such as PET soda bottles, and transform them into PTA. The process lowers the cost of recycling PET plastics utilizing organic processes with no carbon footprint to generate PTA. Plastic producers will be able to make high quality plastic from renewable feedstocks with Ambercycle’s products, thereby removing it from landfills and away from petroleum, all at a cheaper cost than current methods.

“With our new approach, we intend to revolutionize the concept of recycling to include environmentally friendly and sustainable elements to already existing infrastructure.” – Akshay Sethi, Co-founder of Ambercycle

Stage of Innovation: Prototype


Ambercycle’s process will be able to redirect waste streams away from landfills. Almost all contemporary clothing contains polyester, and with rapidly expanding populations, polyester is the fabric of choice for mass-produced clothing. More sustainable plastic fibers produced by Ambercycle will lead to the application of environmentally friendly fabric, which will not only be more cost effective, but also beneficial to the environment.

“We recycle because we are told it’s the right thing to do, but unfortunately, it doesn’t make much economic sense with current technologies. Ambercycle intends to change this.” – Gerald Dion, Co-founder of Ambercycle