Forbes, Nina Angelovska

The Hundert is a Berlin-based startup project and print magazine featuring outstanding companies and their founders since 2013. Every issue puts 100 amazing startups in the spotlight and tells their stories. Previous editions include 100 Female Founders Europe100 Startups New York and 100 Startups Berlinthe most famous one so far. The printed magazine of each edition can be found at various events and conferences across Europe. Their freshest edition Vol. 11 features the 100 most innovative startups of Germany. 

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The most innovative startups represent various sectors: Software as a service (16), IoT (9), FinTech (8), Digital Health (7), Industrial software and technology (5), Media and marketing (5), Logistics (4), Blockchain (4), Logistics (4), AI (3), Robotics (3), Platform as a service (3), Insuretech (3),  and other tech-related sectors.

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The demand for sustainable packaging, made of paper, jute, cloth and even plants, is increasing around the country.

In the eastern suburbs of India’s financial capital Mumbai is a 132-hectare-wide mountain of garbage. Known as the Deonardumping ground, it has long exceeded its capacity as a landfill. Attempts to ensure a scientific closure of the site have yet to materialise, and it frequently reminds residents in neighbouringareas of its presence by catching fireand sending pollution levels in the city soaring. With the pollution come discussions about the large amounts of waste Indian cities are generating.

India produces an estimated 62 million tonnesof municipal solid waste annually, a figure which is likely to reach 165 million tonnesby 2030. As per a 2015 study by the Central Pollution Control Board, close to 26,000 tonnesof plastic waste is generated every day in the country. While there have been efforts to address this problem – in June, the Maharashtra government banned single-use plastic, among the 25 Indian states and union territories to do so – the implementation continues to be lax. According to the industry body FICCI, the plastic packaging industry in India is worth $32 billion, and India exports to 150 countries.

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Technology is now providing some alternatives. Bio-lutions, a German company that uses agricultural waste to produce packaging as well as tableware, successfully completed its pilot project in Bengaluru’s Jakkurneighbourhoodand their first full-fledged plant began operations in September in Ramanagara, 40 km away from the city. The plant will use 1,500 to 2,000 tonnesof fibresannually – from plants like sugarcane, banana and tomato – along with wheat and rice straw bought locally from the farmers in Mandya, and convert it all into packaging for fruits and vegetables, electronics, trays for surgical equipment and bio-plastic foil for materials that require a waterproof surface. Eduardo Gordillo, who founded Bio-lutionsin 2012, feels there is a market for companies like his in India because of the waste management problem in the country. “The industry retailers are looking for alternatives because of the ban on plastic bags,” said Gordillo. “While plastic and paper are cheap, technologies like ours can make alternatives at competitive prices.” He believes technology like the one Bio-lutionsoffers can help provide farmers a profitable outlet as well.

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Instead of contributing to smog by burning stubble, farmers are learning that waste products can be turned into profit

A study conducted by Harvard’s John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences said: “On certain days, during peak fire season, air pollution in Delhi, which is located downwind of the fire, is about 20 times higher than the threshold for safe air as defined by WHO.”

But now a slew of private companies are coming up with a range of offerings they say can help.

A Hamburg-based company called Bio-lutions has set up a factory near Bangalore to convert agricultural residue into fibres that can be used for packing material and tableware. The end products could also help tackle the burgeoning plastic crisis, as they are as cheap as plastic to produce, and take about three months to biodegrade.

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The Print, Soniya Agrawal

These are innovations needed desperately in India, which generates an estimated 1 lakh metric tonnes of solid waste daily

New Delhi: Imagine a takeout where you can eat the box once you are done with the meal. The alternative would be throwing it away with the comforting knowledge that it won’t fester in our oceans for decades, choking marine life, or poison the food chain of our strays.

A host of companies across India are churning out green tableware and packaging containers made from waste, a welcome intervention for a country that generates an estimated 1 lakh metric tonnes of solid waste daily and doesn’t have a disposal system capable of handling it. Other companies, meanwhile, seek to tackle the problem from the other end, tapping food products to make cutlery that is edible.

BIO-LUTIONS, a Germany-based company with operations on the ourskirts of Bengaluru, derives products like trays, boxes and other kinds of packaging from agricultural waste sourced from farmers in the nearby villages of Mandya and Tumkur.

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BIO-LUTIONS Int. AG

Eduardo Gordillo, CEO and founder of BIO-LUTIONS accompanied Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier the President of the Federal Republic of Germany on his visit to Mumbai and Chennai in India as part of his business delegation.

India is an important country in BIO-LUTIONS international strategy, and also hosts its first production plant which currently is in an upscaling phase. The trip served as an opportunity to expand business and political contacts as well as deepen the understanding of BIO-LUTIONS as a solution to India’s urgent environmental crisis.

The visit included meetings with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Think Tank NITI Aayog, as well as discussions on current and future business and trade relations between Germany and India. BIO-LUTIONS was enthusiastically welcomed by all stakeholders and confirms its commitment to creating a 100% ecological packaging and tableware solution for India.

The Better India, Manabi Katoch

Last year’s winter in Delhi was horrifying. The fog in the month of October was not the usual — it was choking smoke that made it almost impossible for children and elderly citizens to leave their houses.

 

While many speculations were made about the reason behind the smog, NASA’s ‘fire map’ on October 17 and 20 showed a considerable growth in red dots over Haryana and Punjab. These indicated fire due to burning of stubble in the farms at these places. The ill-effects of these fires were not limited to the two states. They travelled to Delhi because of the westerly winds, causing major health concerns among people.

Stubble is 8 to 10 inches of straw that stays behind after paddy, wheat and other crops have been harvested using a machine. Farmers usually burn the stubble to prepare the fields for the next sowing season. India produces 550 million tonnes of crop residue every year and an estimated 32 million tonnes of agricultural excess is burnt in India each of these year. A poor farmer cannot afford the labour cost or the time taken to clear his field and hence burning the stubble for next crop is the only solution he knows. But what if someone arranged to clear his field and pay him for the residue?

And here’s where it gets interesting — if this same farm residue is used to replace plastic waste to make biodegradable food grade packaging material for your fruits and vegetable?

This revolutionary step has been taken by BIO-LUTIONS, a Germany-based company, with its Indian partners Kurian Mathew, Kurian George and George Thomas.

 

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