Cairo /PRNewswire/ - On May 15,2022, in the presence of Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Egypt's Minister of the Environment, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), committing to cooperation between the Egyptian government and sustainable innovation company, Okeanos Egypt. Okeanos Egypt is a joint venture between Okeanos Group, a US based sustainable technology company, and Income International, leading Egyptian petroleum and industrial services company. The memorandum outlines the government's support for reducing plastic content and carbon emissions in packaging and single-use items by more than half, using calcium carbonate.
As the host nation of the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP27) in November in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Egyptian government will serve as a voice for all African nations. As such, Egypt intends to lead by example, introducing proactive environmental initiatives and fostering innovative technical solutions like Made From Stone, to tackle the world's climate challenges. "The project in Egypt represents an opportunity for the country to lead the way in adopting real sustainable solutions to plastic pollution," explained Dr. Yasmine Fouad.
Okeanos' patented Made From Stone technology makes it possible to immediately replace the majority of traditional resin with calcium carbonate, a naturally abundant and renewable mineral. Through biomimicry, the technology aims to emulate the eggshell, nature's perfect package, comprised of 97% calcium carbonate bound together by proteins. This upstream solution reduces an item's virgin plastic content and carbon emissions and can be made to be recyclable or biodegradable. Okeanos continues to work toward further reductions in overall plastic content through the ongoing development of natural binders and degradants.
Okeanos Egypt plans to invest in a plant to make its patented product for local manufacturers tapping into a vast deposit of previously underutilized calcium carbonate, replacing nearly $3 billion in feedstock imports. Here, locally sourced Egyptian calcium carbonate will be processed with Egyptian labor to produce technical compounds that can be utilized by leading Egyptian brands. Made From Stone compounds are designed to be run on existing plastics manufacturing equipment without any further capital investment.
"Our new joint venture, Okeanos Egypt, is the perfect match in the portfolio of the two companies, Okeanos of America and Income of Egypt," explained Amr Sheta, Executive Partner of Income International. "Introducing the innovative Made From Stone technology to the Middle East will significantly reduce the use of plastic and carbon dioxide emissions. The project will create many promising job opportunities in the Egyptian market, through an ambitious investment plan over the next three years, worth 50 million US dollars, reducing imports of plastic materials, and impacting hard currency, further enhancing Egypt's transformation towards a sustainable green economy." Okeanos Egypt will be the main manufacturing hub for Africa and the Middle East.
After the signing, Dr. Fouad stressed the importance of collaboration between the public and private sector, and the great potential for the project to make a positive impact. This message was also echoed earlier in the day by Ambassador David Thorn, Senior Advisor to the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate during his introductory speech to the visiting Green-Tech Delegation currently being hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce and AMCHAM Egypt.
"The Okeanos Egypt project is proof that the Made From Stone solution is scalable, affordable, and immediate, establishing the project as a beacon of public/private cooperation in the region and an example that can be reproduced today, and not in years or decades, by governments and leading brands around the world," explains Florencio Cuétara, Okeanos CEO.
Applications for the technology are limitless; governments and multi-national brands are currently applying Made From Stone solutions to improve film, thermoformed, blown molded, and injection molded products including single-use products, cosmetic packaging, and food packaging. Future applications for agricultural films and construction materials are currently being developed. Products using Made From Stone technology will also help to educate consumers about their environmental impact through a scannable QR code that tracks the product's journey from ground to grocery alongside the Made From Stone peel logo, rendered in the market's local language.
With the support of the Egyptian government, Okeanos plans to highlight Made From Stone's capabilities and variety of applications with a significant presence at COP27, and through a series of events and panels with non-governmental organizations aimed at amplifying the voices of organizations dealing directly with climate change, specifically the harmful effects of unregulated virgin plastic production and pollution around the world.
For more information on Okeanos or Made From Stone, please visit www.madefromstone.com.