Pittsburgh Company “PittMoss” Steps into the Shark Tank

Harvesting peat moss from peat bogs destroys wetlands and eliminates a hundred year’s worth of growth in one harvest. This is a problem, a problem that is directly affecting the overall health and future of the only planet we know currently sustaining life, Earth.

One entrepreneur however is out to make a change and he has a product that might help save our Earth’s valuable peatlands. His name is Mont Handley and he is the inventor of PittMoss, an eco-friendly sphagnum peat moss substitute made from recycled paper that is rescued from landfills.

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Peatlands are critical to the health of the planet and to our own continued human existence. These habitats are under attack all over the world. As we dig up or burn away peat bogs, millions, perhaps billions, of tons of carbon each year are released, increasing the risk of irreversible climate change.

Peatlands around the world make up only 3% of the Earth’s land surface, yet they sequester 30-33% of all known soil carbons. Their ability to store away carbon from the atmosphere exceeds every other carbon-storing habitat including all of the planet’s forests.

The loss of just 1.5% of the planet’s peatlands is equivalent to an entire year’s release of carbon pollution.

Peatlands aren’t only beneficial for carbon storage. Healthy bogs provide a habitat for various endangered species, help to purify drinking water, and protect against flooding.

Mont Handley has been diligently working on this project since 1994 where he developed this product in his kitchen. As it turned out, Mont was on to something and soon graduated from his kitchen to his garage where he then secured an EPA SBIR grant to fund critical growth trials providing the needed scientific evidence and foundation for the PittMoss patents.

PittMoss has since come an extremely long way since the humble beginnings in the kitchen but he now faced another challenge with the growth of the business — no pun intended. Researchers concluded that PittMoss could be utilized extensively by commercial greenhouses and nurseries at a 50% replacement rate, but, scientific proof does not always necessarily translate to sales.

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In an effort to continue the growth of PittMoss, Mont made his next bold move and decided to step into the Shark Tank to seek an investment from the panel of Sharks. PittMoss is currently available for commercial growers in the Eastern US but is looking to expand into commercial sales and also break into the retail market.

Will Mont secure funding to help fund the production of PittMoss while expanding his distribution channels? Tune in this Friday Night (4/17) to Shark Tank on ABC to find out!

 

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