Maybe you’ve been thinking that the world’s so not like what it used to be, in terms of climate and the environment. And, you’ve been disappointed with how big corporations care so little about the emissions they’ve created.
It’s too early to lose hope. Because, not everybody wants to see the world burn and more people are creating their own enterprises with a purpose to better the environment.
Here’s some green startups that you should check out, learn from, and support in ways you prefer.
In India, regular stubble burning leads to terrible air pollution. It’s so bad that the government advises that the elderly and children to not go out at all.
Cofounders Nikita and Nishita Baliarsingh wanted to find a sustainablr way to address this problem and they created Nexus Power. This startup could lead to an increase in electric vehicles, another green product, on Indian roads.
The startup leverages nanotechnology to make biodegradable electric vehicle batteries from crop residue. It uses one of the major sources of air pollution: unburnt crops. Then, they use a unique extraction and filtration process to manufacture rechargeable energy storing cells.
Multiple such cells go into making the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and AI-based sensor enabled battery pack which is later installed in electric vehicles.
One may think that plastic recycling is overrated, but this startup aims for a closed loop one.
Basically, Circular is sort of like an eBay for buyers and sellers of spent plastics. After many trials behind the scenes, it opened shop in June with the promise of 10 million pounds of “recycled PET, HDPE, LDPE, and PP in bale, flake and resin to trade” from U.S. and international sources.
By the way, the plastics are abbreviations of recycled polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, low density polyethylene and polypropylene.
Now, according to Circular, plastic collectors, manufacturers and both mechanical and chemical recyclers and processors are using it. And, there’s a strong response from consumer packaged goods companies.
Recently starting to broker waste plastics, the startup has long-term aims to broker in what it called “other environmentally preferred manufacturing inputs.”
Founder and CEO Ian Arthur said, “We focus on plastics first as it’s the largest, closest economic and environmental opportunity. Also the industry dynamics are right, right now: Every major brand struggles to meet sustainability goals, partly because it’s so hard to buy quality products at scale.”
Circular prides itself in real-time, transparent and efficient global trades. The startup provides customers with the troubles and complicated nature of locating and vetting the material they need. Other than that, it also manages contracts, shipping and billing through text chat, calls, or video.
Clients or customers are also able to apply for a subscription service.
Arthur said, “We match buyers and sellers to trade sustainable materials at scale. That means we primarily offer a contracts market, which as the industry commoditizes, will become a futures market. Eighty to 90 percent of all plastics traded today work on contracts (rather than spot markets), so we meet the market where it is and help it become more efficient.”
Waste Ventures India
Even though organic waste like food contributes to a lot of problems, stories about its recycling or management are not as much as plastic, perhaps due to the fact that organic waste biodegrades. That’s why people don’t really think about it.
But not Waste Ventures India. This startup is based in Telangana and it provides waste management for housing areas and corporate offices by composting organic waste and recycling dry waste. Roshan Miranda and Rob Whiting founded Waste Ventures India in 2012, aiming to change paradigms in solid waste management. They want to achieve that by increasing value to stakeholders through all the value chain.
Per the startup, it claims to be able to reduce waste out of the gate (office or society) by up to 90% and not leave negative carbon footprint.
How do they do this? Well, the R&D team has developed a scientific, odourless process to manage organic waste. In the end, there’s fewer flies and the end product is a high quality compost. Waste Ventures India also gives a free portion of the compost back to your personal garden use.
Other than that, the startup brings more awareness about waste management among residents and employees. They all learn about composting, recycling and other green initiatives. It was also among the first to provide digital doorstep recyclable pickup service in Hyderabad.
Since around a year after it was founded, Waste Venture India has averted over 3,000 tons of waste from Indian dumpsites.
This Hamburg-based startup has a similar effort to Circular, with 15 employees. But don’t be fooled by its rather small number of employees–its trading marketplace counts 1,200 companies in 100 countries and 1.3 million tons of material, with more than 35 types of polymers. Moreover, it has received $3.7 million in funding, with early support by venture capitalists in the U.K., Sweden and Germany.
A Cirplus spokeswoman explained that the company’s mission as building “A one-stop shop for finding, negotiating, contracting, shipping, insuring and paying for recyclates and plastic waste trades across the globe.”
Other than building procurement service digitally, Cirplus worked with 15 plastics industry companies and the German Institute for Standardization. This cooperation wants to create the first industry standard for high-quality recycling, designed to simplify identifying the properties and quality of recycled plastics.
Engineering graduates Ankit Agarwal & Prateek Kumar founded this startup in 2017. They were intrigued by the idea of converting floral waste into charcoal free luxury incense products, and that’s what they did.
Converting floral waste isn’t the only thing Phool.co has developed. Through advance technology research, the startup has made “fleather”, which is a good alternative to animal leather and also award-winning.
As of now, Phool.co operates in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. During the lockdown, the company made sure that its supply chain by sourcing flower waste directly from the distressed horticulture farmers, bringing them critical income in the toughest of times.