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Packaging Innovations 2018

Last Wednesday, the Alterwaste team hit London for Packaging Innovations 2018!

During the exhibition, we had the chance to check out some of the hottest innovations in packaging and hear some inspiring talks during the speaker’s programme. It seems that sustainability is being taken seriously in the packaging industry and the reduced waste movement is real!

Between talks, we had the chance to check out the Plastic Free Aisle, brought to Packaging Innovations by international environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet.

The aisle had a variety of products wrapped in innovative materials including wood, cellulose and plant pulp, compostable biomaterials as well as traditional materials including glass, metal and carton board.

Unsurprisingly, we were extremely excited by this concept and hope to see it come to supermarkets in Scotland soon! 

How can waste become opportune?

Reusing plastic waste was a topical subject at this year’s Packaging Innovations.

Working towards zero waste is not all about coming up with new, plastic free materials. By making small changes and caring more about which bin we use, we can make sure plastic products are making their way to recycling plants and encourage manufacturers to turn one person’s waste into another’s treasure.

Check out how people around the world are taking plastic bottles and turning them into eco bricks for construction here

Consumer’s are moving towards a more environmentally friendly mindset and even in the luxury packaging industry, there is a demand for sustainability. Unfortunately, a lot of luxury packaging is still hugely unsustainable, particularly with the use of glossy films covering paper. The good news is, 75% of consumers believe in living an ethical/sustainable lifestyle and this mindset is driving change.

After such a successful trip, we are already excited for Packaging Innovations 2019, with the aim to exhibit next year!

Not to forget, we thoroughly enjoyed the free tasting of Artic Blue Gin from Finland after a long day on our feet at the exhibition! 

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Welcome Our Intern!

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We are excited to welcome a new face to our office, our marketing and communications intern, Lara Winnington-Ingram!

For the next six months, Lara will be working on all internal marketing initiatives, so keep an eye out for her on our social media channels, emails, and blog posts!

Lara is a Scottish student in her final year of Marketing Management at Edinburgh Napier University, where she is writing her dissertation on sustainability in a marketing context. On her first day in the office, we got a chance to learn a little bit more about her, and we’d love to share a small part of her story with you as well.

1. How did you hear about Alterwaste and why did you want to get involved? 

I recently finished my work placement in Berlin with Uhlala and told myself I would take a year off from internships to focus on my fourth year of university and write my dissertation, on the topic of sustainability. When I came across the internship position at Alterwaste on LinkedIn and realised that it matched up perfectly with my career aspirations and dissertation topic, I thought that it would be silly not to apply.

2. What does sustainability mean to you?

It isn’t all about wearing bamboo socks and keeping worms in your kitchen. It’s just about paying attention to our environment, being aware and making small changes to our everyday lives to reduce the unnecessary amount of waste that we produce every day.

3. Do you do anything in your everyday life to contribute to sustainability? 

I am passionate about local produce and the notion of “nature to plate” in the kitchen. A term The Eggshell Project brings a whole new (literal) meaning to! I was lucky enough to be brought up growing my own food and educated on the topic of sustainability. Although it can be difficult to be sustainable as a student, I try my best to buy from supermarkets that stock local and regional produce. The community greengrocer DigIn is my favourite in Edinburgh.

4. How do you think Scotland is doing with sustainability? 

Having lived in Berlin for the past 6 months, I think Scotland has a long way to go! Berlin’s attitude towards a general environmental change for good is something that Scotland could learn from. The city’s returnable bottle policy, bicycle and public transport culture, 900km2 of green space, eco supermarkets and plant-based cafes all inspired me to come back to Scotland with a more sustainable mindset.

5. Are there any other sustainable products/services currently out there? 

The first thing that came to mind is Too Good To Go. It’s a free app that tackles food waste. Instead of restaurants throwing away their unsold food, they put it up on the app at a reduced price. Food is usually available when restaurants are closing, so it’s great for students who have been stuck in the library all day. Using Too Good To Go is an easy way to contribute to tackling food waste and it makes you feel a bit better about getting a takeaway!

6. How do you think marketing and sustainability can become more connected? 

More marketing and outreach is needed to promote sustainability and show that broader topics such as “green”, “recycle”, “renewable”, “ethical”, “conscious” and “environmentally friendly” are all parts of sustainability. So many people are confused by the “S” word and it needs to be defined more clearly through marketing.

7. What are you hoping to get from this internship?

I want to work with a purpose to make the world a better place and I know that working with Alterwaste is going to give me that opportunity. I hope that the research for my dissertation will be useful for the company and likewise, the work that I do with Alterwaste will compliment my studies. Ultimately, I just want to have fun, build experience and make contacts for my future career.

8. Tell us one fun fact about yourself: 

I never wear odd socks.

ECCI Climate-KIC Accelerator Stage One

Climate-KIC Accelerator 1

Trying to build a low-carbon business is not an easy job. We are always on the lookout for any support available that can help us grow faster. One plave that we have been interested in for a while and have been hoping to get involved with is Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

At the beginning of 2018, ECCI had applications open for the European-wide Climate-KIC Accelerator Programme. This is a programme that helps startups turn their inventions into business plans and with the help of grant funding, business coaching and masterclasses it helps those businesses take their markets by storm.

And luckily for us, we applied and got in!

 

ECCI Climate-KIC Accelerator Stage One Group, 15/2/2018:
Martina Zupan from Alterwaste Ltd.
Photography for ECCI (Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation) from: Colin Hattersley Photography – www.colinhattersley.com – cphattersley@gmail.com – 07974 957 388.

 

Seven other businesses or individuals were successful in getting into the Accelerator programme, and each of them aims to make our planet a better place in their own, fantastic way:

  • ApparelXchange aims to combat textile waste by reinventing the way we buy and use school uniforms.
  • Bespoke Fabrics are developing a range of bedding products that will combine the company’s expertise in good design, luxury, the circular economy and longevity.
  • One Cherry is a smartphone app that lets shoppers browse items from local charity shops from the comfort of their home, or on the move.
  • Kasey Hou aims to reduce electronic waste by creating products that are designed for repair, thus extending the lifespan of gadgets and avoiding reliance on unreliable recycling options.
  • SCORRES is an affordable smart irrigation product that provides ‘right-time, right-volume’ irrigation to crops.
  • WeeWash is a tiny portable dishwasher specifically designed for small households, saving water and energy.
  • uFraction8 technology address challenges in the bio-manufacturing industry by using microfluidics – the science of manipulating and controlling fluids – at scale as a liquid-particle processing technology.

 

ECCI Climate-KIC Accelerator Stage One Group, 15/2/2018:
Back row from left are Accelerator Stage One Group group members Dalimil Hajek, Anton Puzorjov and Daniela Gargya (all from One Cherry), Michael Shaw (SCORRES), Izzie Eriksen (ApparelXchange CIC), Joan Johnston (Bespoke Fabrics), Kasey Hou, Martina Zupan (Alterwaste Ltd), Brian Miller and Monika Tomeka from UFraction8, and Francisco Carreno with Pierre Guglielmi from Wee Wash.
Photography for ECCI (Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation) from: Colin Hattersley Photography – www.colinhattersley.com – cphattersley@gmail.com – 07974 957 388.

 

You can read more about the businesses mentioned above over here: http://edinburghcentre.org/news/Scotland-low-carbon-dream-team

 

We are very excited about the next few months. It will be hard work and very long days, but it will be more rewarding than ever. We are excited to work alongside very talented people who are changing the world and aim to support each other in the accelerator journey.
We will do our best to share our progress with you over here.

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Scottish EDGE Journey & Winning

Year 2017 was spectacular. After our business was formed we had to go and raise some money to help us establish the solid grounds of our business.

Scotland is great for offering a number of funding opportunities for startups and there was one particular we were very excited about – Scottish EDGE. It’s a Scottish wide competition for startups who can win up to £100,000 across 3 main categories.

This was our first time applying for a funding and we were very excited about it. And scared. The journey was full of mixed emotions. After the application was submitted and after a short wait we have received the results of the 1st assessment stage. When the email came through, the blood pressure went up to the upper limit as we were reading the following lines:

Your outcome results following the 1st Stage Assessments are shown below:

  • Scottish EDGE (including Higgs EDGE & Creative Awards) – Invited to Scottish EDGE Semi-Final;
  • Young EDGE – Invited to Young EDGE Final;

 

Waaaaaaaa!!!!! we were successful in not just 1 but 2 of the categories!

 

The Scottish EDGE Semi-Finals was the first of the 2 pitches. This was the first time that we’ve pitched live in front of the judges and we think it went really well, considering it was our first time. Unfortunately, we didn’t progress into the finals in this category as the competition was really tough and we were at such early stage that we just couldn’t compete with the rest of the fantastic businesses who just had it more figured out and were further along with their businesses. The judges were super lovely and gave us a great feedback which helped us strengthen our focus and work on improvements.

But there was another pitch coming up – the Young EDGE. And we felt really good about this one. It turns out, for a good reason. A day after the pitch, an email came through saying:

Congratulations! I am absolutely thrilled to let you know that you have been selected as one of the winners of the Young EDGE competition.

 

Waaaaaaaaa!!!!!

 

Nothing else to add.

 

The funny thing is that Scottish EDGE asked us to record ourselves in those big moments like right before pitching, or right after, or when we opened the results, etc. to record our reactions. So I have decided to record opening the Young EDGE results email. I was actually in the middle of the work at a university and had to pop out of the office for that. Of course, I wanted to open the email as fast as possible but needed to find a quiet room to record myself as I didn’t want to do it in the office full of people staring at me. I felt nervous enough already. I managed to find an empty classroom and I could FINALLY open the email and see the results.
Right next to this classroom there was another office on one side and a meeting room with people inside on the other side. I knew I couldn’t have any loud reactions, so when I opened the email and read the GREAT news, I had to express my excitement in super excited and at the same time quiet way. If you are curious how that looked like, you check my reaction here.

We didn’t actually know how much money we have won before the Awards ceremony happened and we were eggstatic to hear then we have won all £10,000 we have applied for. And so did my dear friend Sydney Chasin with her Lil’pops and you can see it on our faces we could not be happier!

© Sandy young Photography 07970 268944
Scottish Edge Final – round 11.
W: www.scottishphotographer.com

 

And the whole Young EDGE bunch in one photo, the youngest of the competition:

© Sandy young Photography 07970 268944
Scottish Edge Final – round 11.
W: www.scottishphotographer.com

 

The one thing that makes me so excited and proud of what Scottish EDGE do is that there isn’t just one winner, but there are MANY business they help significantly in each round and they honestly change lives of many.

© Sandy young Photography 07970 268944
Scottish Edge Final – round 11.
E: sandyyoungphotography@gmail.com
W: www.scottishphotographer.com

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Q&A with Passion for the Planet

Passion for the Planet is an online radio station that runs a blog called Passion for Fresh Ideas where they publish articles and interviews about the environment, ethical living, lifestyle, health&beauty, etc.

Very recently we have had a Q&A session together through which they wanted to know more about Alterwaste, about our happy eggshells and about what’s next for us.

You are very welcome to read the whole article here:

And feel free to check the rest of their posts and interviews:

 

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New Designers Show London, July 2017

It has been absolutely a fantastic week at the New Designers Show in London. Such a variety amongst all the thousands of degree projects of the young designers. The atmosphere was fantastic, and the heat of the place! I mean really, it was like a sauna inside of the green house of the business centre (a tip to anyone who will ever exhibit there, minimal clothes are urgent)

 

 

But on the other note, Visitors have been absolutely amazing and I have been overwhelmed with all the lovely comments people have said to me. The excitement was coming from school kids who came around with their class, to families who were gathering information about what university would be the best (hope we managed to convince you to come to Edinburgh Napier University) and even industry professionals from materials and packaging companies could not hold back. I was absolutely over the moon.

 

And as a highlight of the week, Innovate UK even chose Colleggtion as a highlight of the show.

All 15 Highlighted projects have then been put on a special map of the shop that was given away to visitors – must say that my stand got pretty busy after that.

And on top of all, I’ve met a super lovely lady named Lucy Hughes who wrote an absolutely fantastic blog post about her experience at the New Designers show and how she noticed there was a lack of sustainable projects from all the prospective young designers – and I absolutely agree with her.

You can read her post here: https://lucyhughesdesigns.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/new-designers-response-2017/

 

 

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Publicity

Colleggtion has been featured on various news platforms – online as well as in printed media.

The greatest thing to happen was the story being published by BBC Scotland! I am glad that people are able to read about all the green projects happening around the world, tackling waste and making our world a better place to live in.

You can read the BBC story here:

 

The story has further been featured on Recycling Council of Alberta:

https://recycle.ab.ca/newsletterarticle/student-creates-disposable-plates-made-from-eggshells/

 

Featured on WATTAgNet:

http://www.wattagnet.com/blogs/23-poultry-around-the-world/post/30891-eggs-could-soon-be-in-your-plate-as-well-as-on-it

 

on Daily Business:

https://dailybusinessgroup.co.uk/2017/05/martinas-cracking-idea-tableware-from-eggshells/

 

And also on The National:

http://www.thenational.scot/business/15295144.Edinburgh_design_student_has_cracking_business_idea/

 

And on the Poultry World:

http://www.poultryworld.net/UK/Articles/2017/5/Student-takes-eggshells-to-a-whole-new-level-137778E/

 

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Degree Show Launch

The Opening Night of the More Than A Degree Show was absolutely spectacular! Hundreds of industry professionals and public members came to see the launch of the annual exhibit and were amazed by what this year’s graduates have produced.

 

Below is a display stand for Colleggtion. The lightbox showed different stages of the process and final products.

 

Thanks to gin sponsors Caorunn, we were able to keep ourselves cool in the heat of all the excitement of the night.

Visitors were intrigued by the Colleggtion and potential that eggshell waste brings.

Thanks to the company JustEgg, I had plenty of ground eggshells to use for the experiments. With their help, I was able to prove that there is a big potential of using eggshell waste in a better way than sending it to landfill and let the waste pollute the environment.

I was lucky enough that the Managing Director of JustEgg, Mr Pankaj Pancholi himself came to Edinburgh for the opening night of the degree show and showed his support and offered further cooperation.

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Degree Show 2017

The Beginning

Our story started from making scrambled eggs for breakfast. The thought of why we throw eggshells away and the question of what happened to all the eggshells from 12.5 billion eggs that were consumed in 2016 in the UK?

After some research, we found a problem considering eggshells from egg processors. Due to the current laws and regulations, they are obliged to send their waste to landfill, which cost them a lot of money and the waste pollutes the environment as the methane that is generated by rotting protein leftovers cannot be captured. This gave us a challenge of finding a solution for how to divert this eggshells from landfills and create something greater that environment could potentially benefit from. Calcium carbonate, what eggshells are mainly made from, is a great fertiliser, so that kept us focusing on how can we enrich the soil in the end of the process after giving those eggshells a second life as a new product.

After many many long days stuck in the lab and after lots of trial and error, we created a brand new material with our patent pending process that could be used for unlimited applications and keep the biodegradable features. Considering plastic pollution as one of the biggest current problems focused us on using this material for products which would replace plastic.

Plastic single-use disposable products are being overused by people around the world. And by designing Colleggtion product range we created a beginning of a beautiful story in which we started reducing plastic pollution by also reducing eggshell waste ending in landfills.