Start-ups redefining sustainability on the shortlist for circular award

The Green Alley Award, presented by Landbell Group, is awarded to start-ups whose business ideas help advance the circular economy with new and original concepts. Created in 2014, the annual award ceremony has just released a shortlist for enterprise nominations.

Based in Mainz, Germany, the Landbell Group set up the first award in 2014 to highlight innovative start-ups working in the fields of digital circular economy, recycling schemes or waste prevention. Compliance scheme provider European Recycling Platform (ERP) UK, a Landbell Group subsidiary company, is sponsoring the event this year.

Narrowed down from 215 applicants in 30 European countries to just six, the finalists for 2018 offer a wide range of ideas for developing new sustainable materials, preventing waste or utilising digital devices to help create a circular economy.

“Each of our finalists has developed a clever, unique concept based on the idea of the circular economy,” said Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group. “We are very pleased that the award has been so well received and that start-ups are strong and important drivers in such an innovation-driven sector as the circular economy.”

Start-ups redefining sustainability on the shortlist for circular award
The team at Superseven with their biodegradable packaging material
Superseven (biodegradable packaging)

German company Superseven uses the Repaq brand to develop completely biodegradable packaging that can compete with plastic packaging. It has created foil packaging made of cellulose which is compostable and TUV-certified. The packaging also contains no pollutants, is suitable for food packaging and will not harm the environment, humans or animals.

Refurbed (recycled electrical and electronic equipment)

A start-up from Austria, Refurbed revives used electrical and electronic equipment such as smartphones, tablets, monitors and even household appliances. Experts make the equipment new and improved, recycling the appliances whole instead of in parts, which costs consumers up to 40 per cent less.

MIWA (refillable containers)

Aiming for a world without wrappers, Minimum Waste (MIWA), from the Czech Republic, is a start-up with newly developed technology that enables food retailers and consumers to buy and sell produce without the packaging. Traders receive products from producers in containers from which consumers will then take the exact amount needed. The containers, once emptied, can be cleaned and returned to the producer to be used again.

Start-ups redefining sustainability on the shortlist for circular award
Eco plastic pellets from Ecosplasteam
Ecoplasteam (new plastic material)

This Italian company uses their solution ‘EcoAllene’ to overcome the difficulty of separating material mixes, such as waste products like sweet wrappers, which consist of a metal and a plastic layer. This patented production process creates a versatile new ecological plastic material which can be used in clothing, paving stones or household items.

Circular IQ (circular economy software)

‘Circular IQ’ is an application which collects and aggregates data across the entire supply chain, from materials sources to supplier contracts. Companies can monitor the sustainability of their products and create transparency for customers and buyers. This solution from the Netherlands attempts to provide the answers to sustainable purchasing questions for a wide range of producers.

Aeropowder (Insulation material)

This UK-based start-up is ‘re-thinking waste feathers’ and has developed an environmentally friendly and sustainable product to be used as insulation for packaging. The product, pluumo, uses excess feathers from the down industry that would otherwise be disposed of; these are stuffed inside certified biodegradable protective covers, also made from recycled materials.

Read more: Resource recently spoke to the scientists behind Aeropowder to find out a bit more about their innovative product.

Award details

Finalists will work on their business models in private talks with specialists from Landbell Group. After providing a live pitch in front of the jury, the winner will be announced at the award ceremony on 18 October in Berlin, and the winning start-up will receive a prize of €25,000 (around £22,360).

Sulapac, a Finnish start-up, took home the top prize in last year’s Green Alley Awards for its new alternative packaging for cosmetics products, which is both biodegradable and water and oil resistant. Its innovative design tackled the growing problem of marine plastic, which gave the enterprise its winning edge.

The jury is made up of representatives from Landbell Group and external experts including as the founder of the EU R2Pi project on Circular Economy Business Models, Alexis Figeac, and Suvi Haimi, the CEO of Sulapac.

To find out more, head to the Green Alley Award website.

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