The winner of the 2018 Green Alley Award has been chosen: Aeropowder from the UK beat off five strong competitors. Aeropowder’s solution is pluumo, an insulating material for packaging based on waste feathers. The decision was made on the evening of October 18 at Haus Ungarn in Berlin. In mentoring sessions, the finalists worked with experts on their business model. Afterwards, all six startups presented their project to the audience and the jury in live pitches. The award has been initiated by Landbell Group from Mainz, Germany.
Aeropowder’s unique idea was especially convincing. The startup uses waste feathers from the poultry industry to produce sustainable thermal packaging. After cleaning and treatment, the feathers are covered in a certified, compostable food grade liner. This textile is called pluumo and serves as an environmental-friendly alternative to conventional polystyrene packaging, PE-foams or thermal foil. “Once again, this year’s decision was not easy, and our finalists presented six strong and well-designed concepts,” said Jan Patrick Schulz, CEO of Landbell Group. “Aeropowder convinced us with their product pluumo, as they are repurposing materials which would otherwise be disposed of. We want to give the Green Alley Award to those innovative approaches that directly feed into the idea of a Circular Economy.”
Elena Dieckmann, co-founder of Aeropowder, is delighted about winning the award. “With pluumo we had the idea of putting a valuable resource back into the material cycle. Winning the Green Alley Award shows us that we are going in the right direction. Feathers have incredible properties, as they are light-weight and robust, and insulate against heat and cold. We have requests from Spain, Germany, France; not only from customers but also from feather suppliers.”
The Green Alley Award is the first European start-up award for the Circular Economy. For five years, Landbell Group has been honouring young companies whose solutions help reduce the use of finite resources and reduce waste. In 2018, 215 startups from 30 countries applied with their business models in the fields of Digital Circular Economy, Recycling and Waste Prevention. In September, Landbell Group nominated six finalists with innovations for the food industry, alternative materials and biodegradable packaging, among others. “With their unconventional approach and their enthusiasm, startups fuel an innovation-driven industry such as the circular economy. We are delighted that Aeropowder is once again a strong Green Alley Award winner this year. With pluumo, Aeropowder can really help to reduce waste and make our economy more sustainable,” says Schulz.