Interview with the innovative environmental startup that is working to solve plastic waste pollution via technology

Sep 9, 2021

In July, Washington CORE interviewed Fujio Kojima, founder of environmental technology startup Pirika, about plastic waste pollution challenges and solutions in Japan and around the world. Pirika was founded to deliver effective and affordable technology solutions to difficult environmental problems, focused on waste measurement. The company has developed solutions used crowdsourced data to identify and map urban litter, and to encourage residents to assist with clean up. One mobile app solution has been deployed across 110 countries and led to over 190 million pieces of litter being picked up. Most recently the company has focused on the problem of microplastics pollution – microscopic plastic particles that result from the breakdown of larger plastic waste and end up in bodies of water, from where they may ultimately be consumed by wildlife and people. Pirika’s unique low-cost Albatross microplastics measurement system was used to conduct a groundbreaking study of microplastics pollution in Japan, revealing for the first time that the biggest single contributor to microplastics pollution in Japan is artificial turf. Pirika has also supported a major United Nations microplastics measurement study in Southeast Asia, and is seeking to bring its expertise to new countries and issues. WCORE has collaborated with Pirika on a proposal for the World Bank on plastic waste collection technologies (unfortunately unsuccessful) and hopes to leverage this relationship for future sustainability opportunities.