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Every material, sidestream, and component can have a second life. Upcycling waste and reusing materials close the loop of circularity and can help reduce our carbon footprint by producing less. This also applies to your business, as you are also required to comply with more stringent sustainability goals.

Why this is important

As a society, we need to move towards a more sustainable way of living. Circular economy approaches help us in this mission, and plenty of options exist for companies, too.

The time came again, and this year’s circular economy week—from March 11 to March 16—is once again putting the spotlight on circular solutions. As the Netherlands targets reaching climate neutrality by 2050, circular solutions will also contribute to achieving this target. Throughout the country, several events and initiatives are happening this week to help people and companies understand how to adopt circular solutions in their businesses or their lives. 

In this article, we grouped five Dutch companies offering solutions to help your company embrace circularity.

1. A better solution for coffee waste

The Dutch are notorious coffee lovers. According to World Atlas, an average Dutch person consumes 8.4 kilograms of coffee annually, ranking fifth in the world. Many of these cups are drunk at work. Caffe Inc. collects spent coffee grounds from several companies in the country, transforming them into building blocks, personal care oils, and colorants. 

Caffe Inc.’s biorefinery processes discarded coffee, saving 400 kg of CO2 for every ton of coffee waste. With its products, the company caters to diverse industries. Coffee blocks offer a sustainable alternative in the building sector, coffee colorants in the textile industry, and coffee oils have nourishing properties for skin and hair. A cup of coffee can impact many domains, starting from your office. 

2. Sustainable office furniture

Your company is growing, and your team needs a bigger office space. Your new headquarters comes unfurnished, though. As you want to embrace circularity more, what about more sustainable desks, chairs, and shelving? 

WSolve offers solutions to office furniture dealers to transition to a circular economy. They connect with companies that operate in the traditional office furniture market and can provide businesses with sustainable solutions. The company promotes multiple uses for furniture and furniture parts, fostering recycling and repair options. 

3. Sustainable 3D printing

If your company is active in the manufacturing industry, you might be considering—or already using—3D printing in your production processes. Additive manufacturing has many advantages, such as the great flexibility it offers in creating anything from small items to concrete bridges.  Reflow developed a process to recycle discarded plastic into sustainable materials for 3D printing. 

The Amsterdam-based company offers recycled PETG (polyethylene terephthalate glycol). This material has been gaining popularity among makers, partly because of its strength and resistance to higher temperatures compared to PLA – polylactic acid, the most used filament in additive manufacturing. Reflow puts its recycled materials to the test, optimizing their performance so that 3D printing becomes circular. 

4. Circular building interiors

As a builder or a designer, you are always on the lookout for new and possibly sustainable materials to work with. Used packaging or plastics collected from the ocean become new materials for interior design with Aectual. The startup is providing a data-driven 3D printing process for the construction industry. This way, they create floors and acoustic panels, whose quality is comparable to brand-new materials. 

As an example of its efforts, Aectual works together with Tetra Pak to reuse discarded milk cartons to make stools, room dividers, or planters. Aectual also produced 3D-printed flooring for several Nike shops worldwide.

5. Food sidestreams become new ingredients 

Nowadays, consumers are more aware of the importance of choosing sustainable food options. The food industry itself needs to find new, more environmentally friendly options—not only meat alternatives but also all ingredients used to prepare the products that land on supermarkets’ shelves. That’s where Greencovery comes in. 

The company developed a separation technology that extracts ingredients from various food production sidestreams. An example is the sidestream of the soy milk process, a pulp from which fiber is extracted. The ingredient can then be used in bakery applications or plant-based meat substitutes. Whether you want to dispose of production leftovers more sustainably or seek greener ingredients, Greencome can help you move towards circular approaches.