The War On Pollution: 5 Startups Tackling Trash
10/07/2018 - Impact Hub

It won’t come as much of a surprise to many to learn that pollution is one of the most pressing issues to our planet right now. Almost every day we see headlines claiming that the world is on edge of a global plastic calamity, that your exposure to air pollution could be much worse than your neighbour’s, and that global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens ‘survival of human societies’.

To sceptics, this might seem like hyperbole.

But to anyone who’s ever looked into the topic, it is resoundingly true.

While this bleak reality is indeed true, there is a worldwide army of passionate innovators who care deeply about making a difference to our environmental future.

Here are five incredible startups from across the globe who are working at Impact Hub to combat this environmental epidemic…

1. Boubou Lait

In Europe alone, 29 million tonnes of dairy products are lost or wasted every year but one young innovator with a Master’s degree in Business Law in Djenne, Mali, is not about to let this lead the way for Africa too.

There, for example, 1 million liters of local milk were lost in 2016 because of problems with milk conservation. Boubou Sangho founded his company Boubou Lait to provide alternative storage methods for all of this excess dairy, reducing waste on a huge scale.

After taking part in Impact Hub Bamako’s acceleration program, he raised the funding needed to take his company to the next level, and continue to reduce our increasing problem with food waste.

2. Food For Progress

Recent research claims that avoiding meat and dairy is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth. Sweden-based startup Food For Progress aims to make life easier for those who want to make smarter decisions about their food – be it for the individual person or for the planet at large.

“We’re proud that we’ve been able to transform our business from being built around meat and dairy, into a foodstuff factory that is entirely free from meat,” explains Henrik Åkerman, the company’s CMO.

As a partner for changing the food logic all over the world, Food For Progress aims to lower the thresholds for people to try and to eat plant based food, by producing tasty and nutritious food that everyone on the planet can eat – forever.

3. Samatoa

The textile industry is a notorious pollutant, emitting more greenhouse gas emissions than international shipping and aviation combined. But in Cambodia, Samatoa is providing an ingenious alternative to harmful textile production.

Creating the greenest and most innovative textile in the world, Samatoa was recognized in 2012 by the UNESCO Prize for excellence for its unique lotus flower fabric; a material made from ethically sourced, local natural fibers including lotus, banana, kapok and silk.

4. Diseclar

It’s estimated that the world’s furniture waste amounts to 9.8 million tonnes every year. Diseclar doesn’t see this as a problem, however, but as a creative opportunity.

Based in Colombia, this innovative startup transforms recycled plastic and agro-industrial waste into sustainable furniture and architectural finishes, relieving the world of more excess waste that is detrimental to the future of our environment.

5. EnviroCentre

In 2012, transportation accounted for over 40% of Ottawa’s total Greenhouse Gas emissions but thankfully, this source of pollution is being offset with the growth of cycling in the city.

EnviroCentre is a local non-profit that focuses on reducing greenhouse gases and one of the ways it achieves this is through Bike To Work month: a yearly campaign that encourages people to try cycling as a fun and healthy option for getting to and from work.

So, while the news may be filled with doom and gloom about the world’s end due to pollution a much needed reality check for citizens and organizations around the world there is still hope, and you can find it at Impact Hub.


Each of these startups contribute to the following SDG: