Sustainable startups, waste warriors edition
Welcome to the third edition of our series on startups around the world that are building technologies and teams to create a more sustainable world! So far we’ve looked at everything from renewable energy to urban agriculture but this week we want to focus on the waste warriors out there.
Whether it's waste reduction, recycling, reusing or repurposing, the number of startups tackling our waste crises is continually increasing and with the massive amounts of waste being produced, we need their amazing dedication and ingenuity. That’s why we thought they deserved some recognition for their work and how they’re fighting the war on waste.
Take a look at some of our favourite startups that are addressing the waste problem in a whole bunch of different ways..
One of the biggest problems with plastic waste is recycling it. It’s incredibly difficult and energy-intensive to recycle, not to mention plastic is made out of non-renewable fossil fuels anyway.
Plantic has a simple solution - don’t use plastic! They’ve developed an awesome plastic alternative made out of “high-amylose starch” derived from corn by-products. Don’t worry, we don’t know what that is either but what it means is that the material is renewable, natural and sustainable.
The best part? It’s also fully home-compostable! Unlike many other so-called “bio-degradable” packaging which requires industrial composting, Plantic can be thrown in the backyard pile, meaning it’s far less likely to end up in landfill.
What’s the Matter with you? Well with us, it’s that we can’t get enough of Perth-based Matter who are redefining real-time waste intelligence. They help individuals and companies manage their waste using real-time, geolocated, verifiable data and insights along the entire supply chain.
Their smart sensors and advanced analytics take waste management to a whole new, never-before-seen level. Why do we need this? Well, waste is a complicated thing and the more you know about your waste stream, the more efficient and environmentally-friendly it can be. Matter’s sophisticated technology makes this accessible to everyone.
This Danish startup is solving a complicated problem very simply - an app. Okay, so it's not just an app, there’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes that makes them one of the leaders in the food waste reduction movement.
Basically, it connects you with restaurants, cafes and shops that have excess product they’re willing to sell at a reduced cost. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved - businesses are able to sell food they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, consumers are able to access food they otherwise couldn’t afford and the environment doesn’t end up with millions of tonnes of food waste.
We usually think of waste as what’s in our bins but it comes from a whole bunch of other places too and none more so than the agricultural industry. Residue from crops such as corn is a major waste management issue for growers but a major opportunity for brilliant startups like Xilinat. The Mexican-based company has developed a technology that processes agricultural corn waste into a natural sugar substitute.
What’s more is that the substitute is low-calorie, meaning it will both help tackle obesity and weight-related health issues and revolutionise the sugar industry towards environmental sustainability.
So, of course, we’re wrapping it up with composting but this isn’t your standard bin-in-the-backyard composting - it’s robotic, modular, insect-composting waste solution.
There’s a lot to unpack there but essentially sustainable startup Goterra have developed a system that uses the Black Soldier Fly Larvae insect to eat up all sorts of organic waste. These powerhouses churn through waste, creating valuable castings that can be used as an organic fertiliser and when they're finished up, the insects themselves can become a form of animal feed.
Goterra offers both waste collection and on-site processors so you can have your very own fly-farm. The efficiency, ingenuity and innovation of Goterra’s technology is just what we need to achieve 100% reuse of organic waste.
We hope you liked this edition of the amazing sustainable startups out there, specifically in the waste space. They’re a constant source of inspiration to our own work and we can’t wait to achieve the amount of impact they already have.
If you’re excited about the next edition or just want to know more about our sustainable startup, make sure to stay posted on our socials - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn - and subscribe to our regular updates.