Aldi looking for start-ups to reduce packaging again

Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are again relying on cooperation with start-ups to reduce packaging. Together with the TechFounders accelerator programme, the corporate groups are promoting start-ups in the packaging and plastics reduction sectors. At a pitch event in Essen, seven founders presented their ideas. Below: Packaging-free natural cosmetics and edible coffee mugs. Three start-ups from last year's round have already made it onto Aldi's shelves with their ideas. Aldi will soon be offering edible drinking straws with apple fibres and reusable carrier bags that can be carried as backpacks.

A total of around 80 start-ups applied to Aldi for funding in the new funding round. Seven companies were invited to the pitch date to present their ideas and business models to Aldi. This time the field of applicants was particularly international, with participants from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and the UK. They all had one thing in common: sustainable product proposals and environmentally friendly packaging that they want to offer Aldi customers.

Water-soluble sanitary towels and edible cutlery

The two founders of “verpackmeinnicht” presented a solution for plastic-free natural cosmetics for self-mixing. The start-up “Polipop” has developed a sanitary napkin which can be disposed of in the toilet as it dissolves in the water. And the young company “Spoontainable”” presented a real alternative to disposable plastic forks and spoons with edible cutlery made from renewable raw materials. There were also solutions for long-lasting toothbrushes and edible coffee cups.

Rayk Mende, Managing Director Corporate Responsibility/Quality Assurance at Aldi Nord, was impressed: “The start-ups today have shown concrete solutions for reduced packaging. We are now evaluating our joint feedback and will promote the most promising start-ups. One objective is to bring the solutions presented to market so that they can be offered quickly to our customers.” At the beginning of the event, the start-up “Wisefood” from the first funding round reported on its experience with the programme: Together with the start-ups “Cyclic Design”, “Ogata” and “TechFounders” and mentors from Aldi, they further developed their products and business models during a 20-week funding phase. The result: all start-ups will make it onto Aldi’s shelves. The sustainable drinking straws from “Wisefood” will be available as promotional items at Aldi as soon as December 2019. This promotion is an encouraging prospect for the winners from the second pitch event, whose winners will be decided in mid-December.

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