The ERP Italia Consortium has announced that among the six finalists of the 2018 Green Alley Award there is also an Italian startup: Ecoplasteam. ERP Italia is an Italian partner of the event. Landbell Group created the first European start-up award for the circular economy to seek out young companies with a business model in the areas of digital circular economy, recycling or waste prevention. The six finalists from Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and the Czech Republic impressed the judges with their ideas for innovations in the food industry, alternative materials and biodegradable packaging, among others. The winner, which will be decided following a live pitch on 18th October 2018 in Berlin, will receive a cash prize (25,000 euro). Launched in 2014, the Green Alley Award is now in its fifth year and is enjoying growing popularity on the start-up scene. This year’s finalists were selected from a total of 215 applications from 30 European countries, with the majority of submissions coming from Germany, the UK and Italy. This year’s call for applications focused on three key building blocks for the circular economy: waste innovation, which accounted for 37 percent of the business ideas; innovations and new recycling technologies, which made up 37 percent of the submissions; and digital solutions for the circular economy which accounted for 26 percent of applications.
These are the finalists:
The solution “EcoAllene” tackles a problem which many circular economy experts still see as an obstacle: the difficulty of separating material mixes such as waste products consisting of a metal and plastic layer. Instead of using complex processes to separate these components, Ecoplasteam’s patented production process results in a versatile new material which can be used in clothing, paving stones or household items.
Superseven uses the Repaq brand to develop completely biodegradable packaging solutions that can technically compete with plastic packaging. The foil packaging is made of cellulose and its home and garden compostability is TÜV certified. In addition, the packaging is completely free of pollutants, suitable for food, and harmless to the environment, humans and animals.
This start-up brings whole products, not just raw materials, “back to life”. Used electrical and electronic equipment such as smartphones, tablets, monitors and household appliances are overhauled by experts and made new again. Equipment, which would otherwise be recycled in parts, is recycled as a whole – and costs consumers up to 40 percent less.
MIWA (Czech Republic)
Minimum Waste is the aim of this start-up whose newly developed technology enables food retailers and consumers to buy and sell without packaging. Traders receive their products from producers in refillable containers from which consumers can take the exact amount needed on site. The containers are then cleaned and returned to the producer so that they can be used again.
Circular IQ (Netherlands)
Making sustainable purchasing decisions requires detailed information on the sustainability of products. “Circular IQ” is an application that collects and aggregates data across the entire supply chain, from the source of the materials to the supplier contracts. This enables companies to monitor and optimise the sustainability of their products and to create transparency for customers and buyers.
Aeropowder (United Kingdom)
This start-up has developed an alternative insulation material for packaging. This environmentally friendly and sustainable product is made of recycled materials, which can be used to replace conventional insulated polystyrene boxes. The product “pluumo” consists of excess feathers, which would otherwise be disposed of, inside certified biodegradable protective covers.