Olga MIRONENKO, MSc in Environmental Science (Russia)

As founder of a marine plastics recycling start-up, Olga Mironenko aims to make production and consumption in today’s world more sustainable. With her past research projects, she brings expertise in marine pollution into her business of reversing pollution in the seas.


Research focus: marine anthropogenic pollution

Olga has a background in Environmental Science from her studies at the Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology in Russia. As a master’s student she focused on marine anthropogenic pollution and investigated the interactions of marine biota with micro plastics. For her thesis Olga conducted research into marine debris on the Commander Islands, and she mapped areas of pollution around the islands. This investigation led to her setting up “Holy Jelly”, an initiative aimed at addressing the issue of plastics in oceans and their impact on marine life, by recycling marine plastic and turning it into regrind. In the latest UN SDSN Youth Report the initiative was included as one of 50 ground-breaking projects and ideas for sustainable development. Her second start-up “Taiga” was awarded best environmental start-up of 2016 by the city government of Moscow.

Her latest research project brought her to the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre with the University of Washington.
As part of this study, she has analysed the concentration and patterns of plastic in the water. During the Green Talents Forum in Germany she hopes to gain further insights into innovative materials and recycling solutions to contribute to the establishment of a circular economy. With this in mind, she is looking forward to learning about sustainable production processes from VAUDE, the sports manufacturing company that is participating in the programme. Finally, Olga is keen to profit from the interdisciplinary approach of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), in their efforts to reverse pollution in marine environments. This collaboration will also bring her into contact with an array of actors from science, politics, the private sector and civil society.

The jury especially valued her theoretical research and practical steps taken to reach her sustainability goals, with the founding of the start-up Holy Jelly. The jury believes that participating in the Green Talents Forum will help Olga to bring her actions to the next level through exchanges with the institutions of the Science Forum.