Biodegradable seeds worth €25,000

Biodegradable seeds worth €25,000

Thiago Gomes put his hands on his head, excited and amazed at having just heard the name of the Bio Reboot as winner of the Novo Verde Packaging Enterprise Award. Remotely, on the island of Madeira, the startup’s CEO thanked the “vote of confidence” given by the jury, which had met shortly before in a room at O ​​Clube-Monsanto Secret Spot, in Lisbon, choosing the project based on the transformation of agricultural waste . With the trust also comes a check for €25,000.

“It’s not just the monetary value, it’s also the emotional value… Very strong”, he reacted, still through phone calls celebrating the boost to a project started three years ago and which aims to use biodegradable seedbeds to replace disposable plastic trays and bags in agriculture and was competing with three other candidates, who also presented their ideas to the jury of another edition of the Packaging Enterprise Awards, which has Expresso as a media partner and Ernst & Young as a partner.

“We dreamed of this moment. We are in a region [Madeira] with immense access barriers. The money will help us with patent issues, hiring resources and carrying out more tests. The recognition will help with contacts and partnerships”, highlighted Thiago, who foresees a total investment of €3 million and wants to enter the market in 2025.

A Repeat presented a digital system for reusable packaging for take-away and received an honorable mention from the jury, composed of Ricardo Neto, president of the board of directors of Novo Verde, Nuno Lacasta, president of the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), Fernanda Ferreira Dias, general director of the General Directorate of Economic Activities (DGAE), Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, general director of the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED), and Paulo Praça, president of the Association for Waste Management (ESGRA).

The event also brought together representatives and experts in sustainability, for conversations and presentations under the motto “A New Vision of Responsibility”, with the ambitious goals of the European Commission as a basis: by 2030, all packaging will have to be reusable or recyclable, in addition to be certified according to their respective destination.

Present were Mafalda Mota, head of the division of specific flows and waste market of the APA Waste department, Carla Pinto, director of services/business sustainability at DGAE, Carla Velez, general secretary of ESGRA, Cristina Câmara, director of sustainability at APED, Beatriz Guimarães, sustainability lead from Nestlé, Fernando Ventura, head of efficiency and innovation environmental projects from Jerónimo Martins, Paulo Correia, chief technology officer-R&D and Logoplaste Innovation Lab consultingNuno Soares, president of the board of directors of Tratolixo, Nuno Aguiar, technical director of the Portuguese Plastics Industry Association (APIP), Davide Ricci, recycling analyst from Plastics Recyclers Europe, and José Eduardo Martins, partner from Abreu Advogados, which left the warning: “There is no scale or rationality to carry out serious recycling in Portugal. It is necessary to stimulate competition, efficiency, consumer confidence…”

Discover the main conclusions of the event:

Legislation and economics

  • The rules of each member state must be harmonized and in line with European Union directives. “We are in a global market. If national rules deviate from European ones, it is difficult to meet targets. But it is important to give companies some freedom”, said Cristina Câmara (APED).
  • There is no economy without an environment or an environment without an economy, but balance is possible.
  • Cooperation between waste management entities, transparency, clarification of rules, simplification of processes, adequate means and consumer education are essential in the recycling and reuse process.
  • The legislation will place all market actors on the same level.

Eco-friendly packaging

  • Consumers continue to prioritize price when purchasing a product.
  • Companies will continue to adapt packaging to the objective of sustainability: “We are not reducing investment”, assured Beatriz Guimarães.
  • There is no right solution for all products: simplifying packaging and removing as much non-recyclable materials as possible is the objective.
  • It is necessary to continue to guarantee food safety and the durability of products.
  • Smaller packages make transportation easier: “We try to transport as many packages as possible in the same vehicle”, specified Fernando Ventura, from Jerónimo Martins.
  • Simplicity, choice of recyclable materials, certification and choice of appropriate labels and lids are fundamental.
  • Companies are already investing in design that makes packaging more sustainable (ecodesign).


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