The bio economy startup Traceless has developed a nature-based, sustainable alternative to plastic. The compostable biomaterial traceless® is based on plant residues of industrial grain processing. To implement the innovative technology for the first time on an industrial scale, the company is planning to build a demonstration plant in Hamburg. The aim is to substitute several thousand metric tons of conventional plastic each year, thus saving a considerable amount of CO2 emissions, fossil resources, water, and agricultural land.
The project is being funded with around 5 million Euros from the Environmental Innovation Program (Umweltinnovationsprogramm) of the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUV). Parliamentary State Secretary Dr. Bettina Hoffmann handed over the funding check to the two female founders. In her statement, Hoffmann acknowledged the great potential of the project and the outstanding benefit for the environment and for Germany as an industrial location.
Johanna Baare, Co-Founder & COO: “To make a real contribution to solving plastic pollution and the climate crisis, we need to produce our materials on an industrial scale. The planned demonstration production plant is the next step on this path, and the grant is an essential contribution to its funding.”
Anne Lamp, Co-Founder & CEO: “The experts from the Ministry of the Environment and the Federal Environment Agency have comprehensively examined whether our technology actually contributes to environmental protection. The funding approval is a great confirmation of this.”
Plastics are at the center of the ecological challenges of our time. Not only do they leave behind visible traces of global plastic pollution, but their costly production from fossil resources also contributes significantly to the climate crisis. As part of a circular, sustainable economy, the bio economy offers a solution: Instead of fossil resources, renewable raw materials are used and processed into biobased products using environmentally friendly processes.
The startup traceless materials GmbH has developed a novel bio economy technology: Based on plant leftovers from industrial grain processing, they produce a natural biomaterial as an alternative to plastic. The traceless® material is completely bio-based, home-compostable, and plastic-free. By using plant leftovers, valuable biomass resources are preserved. The patent-pending technology is based on natural polymers, comes without potentially harmful substances, and has a minimal environmental footprint: compared to plastic, 91% of CO2 emissions and 89% of fossil energy demand is saved during production and disposal.
The company produces traceless® materials in the form of a granulate that can be further processed using standard technologies in the plastics and packaging industry. Thus, the material can be used in a wide range of end products – from rigid molded parts and flexible films to paper coatings or adhesives.
Founded in 2020, the company has already implemented the technology on a pilot scale. With the aim of replacing plastics in large quantities soon, production capacities will be expanded to an industrial scale. The planned plant will demonstrate for the first time that the innovative process can be implemented on an industrial scale. In parallel with the technology scale-up, the team of over 30 team members is developing pilot products made from traceless® materials with its customers and partners. Due to its innovative solution, the company is receiving funding from the EU as part of the EIC Accelerator. In addition, it has already received numerous awards, including the German Entrepreneur Award and the German Sustainability Award/Next Economy Award.