Sparks Circular economy

Circular startups

 By Ilaria Cesanelli
Circular economy

Some recycle paper, others have patented a material for homes made from inert waste or some others convert solid waste into fertilizers. Discovering the varied world of start-ups, we realize that “circular economy” is not just a motto or a challenge for the future, but an imaginative present already under way…

During the last Maker Faire Rome 2018, we met several realities, Italian and international, who decided to create development models based on circular economy concepts… we selected three of them to tell you what is in the air.

“Lono” is the Hawaiian god of fertility and energy, but also the anagram of the names of the two founders of a biotech start-up. Founded in Côte d’Ivoire in 2012, but also operating in Europe and other sub-Saharan states, LONO is one of the three projects awarded at Make In’Africa, the 2018 Maker Faire Rome contest promoted by Eni, “to identify, support and spread the implementation of innovative solutions on the topics of sustainability and access to energy in African countries”.
“Our wish is to reduce poverty”, Noël N’guessan, a chemical engineer and co-founder of the start-up, answered us without hesitation. How? Through the Kubeko box, a “box” that collects waste, mainly organic waste, and converts it into fertilizers and biogas and into clean energy too.

LONO, the african startup that converts organic waste into fertilizers and biogas

PAPER.O was created at the Polytechnic of Milan desks, for the project of master thesis in Systemic Design “Aurelio Peccei” by Valeria Bertaccini and Roberta Guadalupi, under the supervision of the relator Fabrizio Valpreda.
“The idea is very simple”, the two recent graduates emphasize: turning water and recycled paper into a new material, bringing together the industrial and manual processes, turning them into a portable and efficient machine.
PAPER.O also impressed the Maker Faire Rome jury and has been awarded with two Maker of Merit tags.

PAPER.O, machinery developed during the Master thesis in Systemic Design at Politecnico di Milano, for an innovative paper recycling

Inert waste, green building, thermal and acoustic isolation and energy saving are some of the key words of RECO2, an innovative start-up based in Pontecorvo, in the province of Frosinone.
“We were on a trip when we saw an open-air landfill of burning tires”, says Daniele Nora, one of the four founders. “In that moment we felt something: we decided that we should have done something real for the environment”.
And that’s how we came up with the idea of recovering various types of inert waste (glass, end-of-life tyres or steel mill waste) from a patented ceramic material – Vytreum – to be used for thermal-acoustic isolation and bio-compatible indoor and outdoor flooring.
Any numbers? Reduction of 80% in production costs and 90% in CO2 emissions.

RECO2, from inert waste to a ceramic material to be used in bio-construction
about the author
Ilaria Cesanelli