In this article we talk about three promising circular economy startups that base their business model on this new paradigm.

Waste management is one of the greatest challenges that our economic system must face. This problem is created by the linear economy approach, which is based on the idea of “produce-use-dispose”.

The circular economy model, instead, is based on the concepts of reusing and recycling the waste we create, making it a new source of materials and energy.

The adoption of this new approach is linked to innovation and disruption of the current paradigm, and this is something that great startups always do.

The Relevance of Circular Economy

According to the “What a Waste 2.0” study by The World Bank, global waste is expected to grow to 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050.


This kind of projections make us understand that our current economic system is not sustainable and that we are creating problems that we need to solve also for future generations.

The solution is to rethink the way we produce and use products, by having a restorative approach and by extending their life-cycle.

This model is not only beneficial for the environment and the consumers, but also for businesses since they would be able to cut production costs.

Three Promising Circular Economy Startups

Startups are the champions of innovation and disruption, and that is why the most interesting ideas to adopt the circular economy system are coming from them. Here you can find a selection of some of the most promising circular economy startups:


Chemicle is a startup that is using dairy waste for the production of bio-plastic materials, with a process that is less expensive than the one used to produce plant-based bio-plastics.

This circular economy startup, founded UK by Italian entrepreneurs Riccardo Bacile and Alessandro Toni, uses chemistry and aims at creating a zero waste production system by turning waste into valuable products.


Kleiderly saves disposed textiles and fabrics from the landfill and recycles them into a plastic material that they use to produce sustainable eyewear.

Founded by Alina Bassi and Dave Bassi in Germany and with the production process based in Italy, this innovative startup wants to create a circular fashion industry.

Cyclic Design

Cyclic Design, founded by Marilu Valente and Nina Masson, is focused on designing products whith their entire life-cycle in mind.

Their flagship product is called Nepenthes and it’s a refillable bottle for shampoo and body wash, made from 50% of bio-plastics, that substitutes disposable bottles.

If you are interested in innovative and sustainable startups, you should read our article about five green economy startups.