Thirteen NSW businesses creating innovations from a reusable pallet wrap to a replacement for single-use plastic dog food packaging and a recycling program for scented candles have been chose to participate in Boomerang Labs’ six-month accelerator program for late-stage circular economy startups.
Backed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and Ernst & Young (EY), the program kicks off this month to help startups scale and commercialise their business through workshops, mentoring, coaching and networking.
“We wanted to reach out to different types of businesses and take a sector-agnostic approach, because getting to a truly circular economy requires innovation and collaboration across all scales and supply chains,” says Boomerang Labs’ general manager Caitlyn Touzell.
While the 2023-24 round was only available to businesses in NSW, Boomerang Labs hopes to present the opportunity via a nationwide program for startups in other states and territories.
“The accelerator program will better enable these startups to establish strong business foundations, connect with potential strategic partners and key stakeholders and pursue investment opportunities and pathways to raise capital,” says the EPA’s Arminda Ryan.
“We know that transitioning to a circular economy and achieving our waste reduction goals will require new and innovative approaches from industry as well as governments.
“It’s great to see NSW business bringing new ideas to the table and exploring sustainable solutions for complex waste and recycling issues across a variety of sectors.”
The 13 participants in this year’s accelerator program include:
- BRAD by Banish, which was established by former Young Australian of the Year Lottie Dalziel to help Australians reduce their waste with the right products and even better information. All products stocked on Banish must adhere to a strict set of guidelines, such as being palm oil-free, paraben-free, responsibly made and not tested on animals, as well as not including any of the ingredients listed on the Banish ‘sin bin’.
- Bearhug Pallet Wraps, a reusable pallet wrap that can be used over 1,000 times, eliminating 350kg of single-use plastic or 90 per cent of pallet wrap expense over its life.
- CandleXchange was founded in Sydney’s Northern Beaches to make the luxury of home fragrances more affordable, zero landfill and accessible for everyone. This includes reusing glass containers, soy wax instead of paraffin, 100 per cent reused, recycled or compostable packaging materials and carbon-neutral delivery. The business plans to prevent one million containers and 100 tonnes of packaging waste from entering landfill by 2030.
- Charopy provides a technology solution that aims to deliver public compliance in out-of-home recycling bins. The technology comprises a locked flap on a waste bin that only opens for eligible items, combined with real-time online reporting.
- Delivery Hound is replacing single-use plastic dog-food packaging which can’t be recycled. With Delivery Hound, customers only ever use two recyclable tubs: the one they have, and the one that staff are cleaning, refilling and replacing for the customer.
- Devolver has created two apps to make borrowing and tracking reusable containers easy and efficient. Retailers simply use their app to scan the customer's unique QR code, and then scan the QR code of the reusable container. This eliminates the need for disposable packaging and helps reduce waste.
- Nviro1 is targeting the 600 billion PET drink bottles produced every year with caps that must be separated because they are made of different mixed plastics. Nviro1 produces the first 100 per cent PET bottle with a tethered, resealable cap, reducing the risk of litter and costly sorting for recyclers.
- RCYCL offers a hassle-free solution for direct-to-consumer clothing recycling. Consumers drop off clothing that is unfit for donation or reuse and RCYCL works with industry experts who specialise in sorting and processing different types of fibres to ensure that nothing goes to waste.
- Resolarcycle takes older but still usable solar panels and redistributes them to areas in Asia and Africa where access to electricity is not readily available. The company also recycles non-usable solar panels.
- Reynard Wood produces building products made from iron ore tailings waste from Australia’s largest export sales of iron ore that have been building significant waste problems offshore. The products can replace traditional hardwood and softwood timber used for consumer products in their current outdoors application.
- Superyard is a sustainable construction marketplace that enables construction businesses to find and sell unused construction materials and equipment. Membership is free, and the company charges no commission or listing fees.
- Utilitarian, a global community of consumers, brands, and circular economy platforms dedicated to creating a green, clean, and circular future. It provides consumers with a single digital wallet that enables tailored, rewards-orientated sustainability actions, with a variety of incentives.
- Yaali Collective is an Indigenous-owned company that provides goods and services that are educational in teaching Aboriginal culture, easy to use and interactive. As the business grows, the company will focus on becoming more sustainable in manufacturing and production of its resources using more sustainable materials and reducing waste.
"Innovation will be critical in transitioning to a true circular economy and at EY we understand the important role startups and entrepreneurs will play in this,: says Mat Nelson, the EY Oceania chief sustainability officer.
“We work with clients every day to help drive their sustainability agendas, and through our EY Ripples program we are excited to also be supporting initiatives like Boomerang Labs’ circular economy accelerator, enabling EY professionals to work with impact entrepreneurs to create positive and lasting change."
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