Tony Bova, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of mobius, has been named to the “Grist 50″ for 2020.
“I’m really honored to be named, and I’m proud of the great work that my team at mobius has been able to do over the last few years,” he said. “This award from Grist is more than just me, but really represents the effort and passion of everyone we’ve worked with since mobius (and Grow Bioplastics) was just an idea back in 2014. Surrounding ourselves with sustainability-minded educators, mentors, peers, team members, and champions in not only Knoxville, but around the world, has elevated the work we’re doing and really given life to our mission to create a world where There’s Wonder in Waste. I look forward to the future where we can bring the different solutions we’re working on now to market and really begin to make a difference in the world!”
According to this announcement, the online publication that was founded more than two decades ago selects “emerging leaders cooking up the boldest, most innovative solutions to save this here planet. We like to call these forward-thinking phenoms Fixers. The top 50 honorees for 2020 were selected from 1,000 nominees in several categories including environmental policy, the food system, the clean-energy sector, art, and commerce.
Here’s how Grist characterized Bova: “As a chemist, Tony Bova always wanted to make stuff. But he wanted to make better stuff — stuff that might actually solve problems, not just clog up landfills. He hit upon a plan to turn a paper-industry waste product called lignin into a bioplastic that degrades after its usefulness is over. In 2016, with little more than “two beards and a pitch deck,” Bova and his hirsute business partner launched mobius, which has since won 19 business competitions. Next comes fundraising, so they can produce at scale the chocolate-sprinkle-like “pellets” that are the building blocks of the plastics industry. The first target: single-use, agriculture industry products like plastic flowerpots — over 5 billion of them are sold every year in the U.S. alone. The vision, he says, is to “turn organic waste resources into the chemicals of the future.”
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