Discover 5 Top Zero Waste Solutions enabling a Circular Economy

Curious about new technological advancements enabling a circular economy? Explore our analysis of 329 global zero waste startups & scaleups and learn how their solutions impact your business!

Staying ahead of the technology curve means strengthening your competitive advantage. That is why we give you data-driven innovation insights into smart cities. This time, you get to discover 5 hand-picked zero waste solutions enabling a circular economy.

Global Startup Heat Map highlights 5 Top Zero Waste Solutions out of 329 enabling a Circular Economy

The insights of this data-driven analysis are derived from the Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 1.379.000+ startups & scaleups globally. The platform gives you an exhaustive overview of emerging technologies & relevant startups within a specific field in just a few clicks.

The Global Startup Heat Map below reveals the distribution of the 329 exemplary startups & scaleups we analyzed for this research. Further, it highlights 5 zero waste startups that we hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised, and more. You get to explore the solutions of these 5 startups & scaleups in this report. For insights on the other 324 zero waste solutions enabling a circular economy, get in touch.


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switcH2 converts Brewery Wastewater into Hydrogen

Factories produce vast amounts of byproducts in the form of organic and inorganic wastes. Effluent discharge makes its way into water streams and groundwater, lowers the water quality, and poses a health risk for all living organisms. Therefore, startups develop innovative solutions to repurpose the byproducts in industries and attain circularity. For example, reusing produced water from hydrocarbon recovery processes further reduces freshwater consumption.

switcH2 is an Australian startup that designs a proprietary electrolytic catalyst to generate hydrogen. The startup’s solution uses organic-rich brewery wastewater and renewable energy to provide clean energy for transportation, and heat generation, and electricity production. The byproduct from the electrolysis is forwarded to treatment facilities. As a result, switchH2 allows breweries to adopt a low-value waste stream using their low-cost, sustainable wastewater processing system, saving costs.

NoPac Foods runs a Zero Waste Grocery Store

Single-use disposable food and beverage packaging is the prime source of plastic wastage, with much of it ending in landfills. Even though plastics are recyclable, the heterogeneity of plastic wastes makes them difficult to recycle. Moreover, food waste also generally ends up in landfills. That is why startups build solutions that reduce food and plastic wastes to help grocery stores adopt a zero waste philosophy.

US-based startup NoPac Foods provides healthy, sustainably grown, and ethically produced food products. The startup sells food by weight or volume, enabling customers to take away only what they need. Further, they do not use plastic in any of the products for packing. NoPac Foods sources its products from local wholesale distributors that work with small farmers, reducing its food miles. The full-service grocery store reduces food and plastic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.

iCEEP develops a Mobile App that facilitates Reverse Logistics

Adopting zero waste practice demands rethinking and redesigning every product we use. However, even though many household products are recyclable now, customers lack information on whether a product is recyclable or how to recycle it. This communication disparity is one of the critical reasons for recyclables to end up in landfills and incinerators. But now, startups are developing digital solutions to connect consumers and recyclers.

Swiss startup iCEEP offers a mobile application to connect consumers and brands for reverse logistics. The startup provides rewards programs from brands to encourage users to donate recyclable products. It offers logistics management for the brands, including pick up, inspection, and temporary storage. The iCEEP app enables users to return their recyclables directly from home. The startup’s services build customer loyalty towards brands which further increases sales and nurtures a circular economy.

Swaaha manufactures a Smart Mobile Composting Van

Composting is an effective method of wet waste disposal in homes. However, finding an apt space for composting in highly packed cities is difficult. For such places, governments set up waste segregation and disposal services. Even then, food and other wet wastes still are mixed up with recyclables, contaminating them, and then end up in landfills. Startups remedy this situation by developing smart solutions for wet waste sorting and disposal.

Indian startup Swaaha builds a smart mobile composting van that collects and disposes wet wastes daily from subscribed customers. The startup’s van, Havankund, has an in-built composting system and processes up to 250 kgs of organic waste per hour. It uses the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to calculate service charges based on the trash weight. Swaaha also offers a mobile app for customers to track their waste generation and processing quantity. The pay-as-you-go composting model is ideal for institutions lacking curing space, such as restaurants, hotels, and hospitals.

Reflow develops Sustainable 3D Printing Material from Plastic

Researchers estimate that the vast majority of plastics end up either in a landfill or the natural environment, with municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills containing mostly plastics. Therefore, controlling plastic production and waste management is a priority to achieve a zero waste future. Startups aid this situation by repurposing recyclable as well as hard-to-recycle plastics to create other high-value products.

Reflow is a Dutch startup creating sustainable materials for 3D printing from discarded plastic. The startup’s proprietary solution offers polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) for 3D printing, providing a better layer and bed adhesion than polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), along with better impact and temperature resistance. The startup works with a collaborative network of recyclers, makers, and designers to tackle plastic pollution and support local communities.

Discover more Circular Economy startups

The 329 zero waste startups, such as the 5 examples highlighted in this report, focus on zero waste systems, recycling, repurposing as well as circular economy systems. While all of these technologies play a major role in advancing a circular economy, they only represent the tip of the iceberg. To explore more zero waste technologies, simply get in touch to let us look into your areas of interest. For a more general overview, you can download our free Industry Innovation Reports to save your time and improve strategic decision-making.

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