Waste is a global problem for ecosystems. Much of it could be avoided by recycling - but in practice, products are often difficult to divide and sort into raw materials. How can waste avoidance work in the future?
Waste Be Circular was the first of the 12 future fields that were worked on by the initiative "The Mission". The topic of this project was plastic waste. Plastic is everywhere, and you can hardly get rid of it - plastic waste is a global problem that threatens our earth and seas - and it is our task to solve this problem.
Together with 11 companies covering the entire plastic value chain, from production (Huhtamaki, Schur Flexibles), distribution (DB Schenker), retail (Schwarz Group), recycling (PreZero), and many more, the five selected teams worked on their solutions to reduce, reuse or recycle plastic waste.
For our first-ever Mission: Waste – Be Circular, Futury had brought together 11 leading companies from the whole value chain of the food industry. They had joined forces to support our innovative teams in finding sustainable solutions for the growing plastic waste problem.
After months of scouting for the best talents across all Germany and beyond, we found five excellent teams with diverse backgrounds but one common goal – to develop ideas that challenge the status quo of the food industry with their unique, innovative ideas.
We kicked off the project on the 19th of September 2019 on the stage of the annual EBS Symposium. The teams presented their ideas to an audience of hundreds of students and representatives of renowned German corporations. After getting the guests of the Symposium excited about the project, they went on to meet all the corporate partners for the “Waste” project and discuss their ideas further in deep-dive sessions. After getting corporates’ approval for the ideas, teams rolled up their sleeves and headed to their co-working space Frankfurt to start making their ideas become a reality.
Futury supported the teams on a daily basis through various workshops and regular deep dives within the framework of the Futury Innovators Academy. Our corporate partners were by our teams’ side as well, providing their expertise and know-how to support the teams as much as possible in the realization of their concepts.
At the interim pitch, the teams presented their interim results to the corporate partners and received comprehensive feedback. The phase between the interim pitch and the final pitch was used intensively to develop a prototype and to develop the solution to the point where it can be tested by the companies at the end of the three-month project.
At the end of 2019, Futury brought all corporate partners under one roof for one last time. Our teams presented the final results of their hard work they had surpassed all expectations of the corporates. Following the pitches, they had a chance to approach the teams and discuss the possible next steps for the ideas. We are very excited to share with you that some of the ideas will continue developing on their own in 2020!
Futury gives the teams the opportunity to continue developing what they´ve started in the project and work on their innovative ideas beyond three months. We´re absolutely thrilled that all four of our teams considered that opportunity and are pursuing their ideas from the project further in the form of startups. Within the project, they have gained a vast network of supporters from the project's corporate partners and continue profiting from that network. Futury encourages everyone to keep the created bonds and push their ideas on the market.
The Handelsblatt covered THE MISSION I with regular reports. See here for an overview of the articles about the project:
Recyda is the first global recyclability assessment tool. Recyda collects and centralises information about the composition of packaging in a software tool, so that the recyclability of packaging for different target markets can be easily assessed. This will increase the distribution of recyclable packaging promoted.
Circolution is developing a scalable system for reusable packaging of food from all segments. The system is designed to save resources, meet consumer needs and offer food producers the opportunity to grow in new and sustainable target group segments. The business model includes the leasing of packaging, including its return and cleaning.
By means of an automatic slicer for sausages, Sliceomat tries to reduce plastic packaging. This offers consumers the possibility to have freshly bought goods cut according to their needs in grocery stores where currently only pre-packaged products are available.
With a database-driven mobile app and web interface, InnoBlock gives companies the opportunity to access information about ecological
relevant packaging properties such as material composition, recyclability and share disposal instructions with their customers. This enables customers to make better purchasing decisions and select certain product packaging.
The Handelsblatt Research Institute accompanies every mission with a Trend Radar. On more than 90 pages, the report analyses the industry's sustainable approaches contributing to the reductoin of plastic waste and the development of alternative packaging solutions.
It also presents the solutions our teams and corporate partners have developed within The Mission. Their solutions cover different topics such as zero waste approaches and packaging recycling.
In The Mission, you have motivated and driven young talents on the one side and big established companies on the other side. Bringing them together creates an incredible microcosmos where you can really change things.
Besides an energizing team spirit, you become part of a potential new start-up in a setting incomparable to anything else. Or can you think about a place where you get all the freedom you need to be creative and being paid for creating your own company?