Addressing the global plastic waste crisis
Why we invested in WILDPLASTIC
While our planet is flooded with plastic, a German start-up comes up with an innovative product: Recycled plastic recovered from nature. A business model we firmly believe in.
Plastic waste is one of the biggest man-made problems of our time. Year by year, more than 400 million tons of plastic are produced around the globe. Its production causes more than Germany`s annual CO2 emissions. Despite those numbers, global production of new plastic continues to rise: It is expected to double in the next 20 years and quadruple by 2050.
Once used, plastic is either incinerated, producing large amounts of greenhouse gases, or ends up in the environment and in landfills, where it decomposes over decades, disrupting or destroying ecosystems. The global recycling rate of plastic is less than 10%. The consequence: plastic pollutes the globe — and especially our oceans. Every year, about eight million tons of plastic end up in our oceans. This equals a truckload of plastic per minute.
The first trash bag that cleans up the world
Hamburg-based start-up WILDPLASTIC is trying to find a way out of the global plastic crisis. The team around CEO Christian Sigmund assumes that plastic waste is not waste. It is a valuable resource. WILDPLASTIC recovers plastic from nature and creates new products such as the WILDBAG — the first trash bag that cleans up the world.
This is how WILDPLASTIC works: locals around the world collect plastic from beaches, landfills and illegal dumpsites — especially in regions where waste management and recycling are problematic or non-existent. The collectors in countries like Haiti, Malaysia and India receive fair wages, combining environmental conservation with supporting livelihoods. After the plastic is collected, it is sorted, cleaned and processed into granulate. Now it is a perfect alternative to virgin plastic. The major difference: it does not pollute but clean up the planet. A convincing concept. The company recently launched a successful collaboration with German e-commerce giant Otto, which now uses WILDBAGS as packaging for its shipments.
Eight reasons why we believe in WILDPLASTIC
For Planet A Ventures, WILDPLASTIC is a great investment:
1) WILDPLASTIC not only contributes to a significant reduction in waste and a reduced consumption of resources. Planet A`s Life Cycle Assessment also shows significant savings of CO2e emissions: up to 69% compared to conventional trash bags made from virgin plastic.
2) WILDPLASTIC is a breakthrough in supply chain management turning a material that pollutes our globe into a new resource for industrial standard products. WILDFOIL is the world’s first foil made of 100% wild plastic (LDPE). Dozens of products can be made from it.
3) We expect the business to grow significantly. The price difference between wild and virgin plastic will shift rapidly in favour of wild plastic due to the rising cost of CO2 emissions. At the same time, the production cost of WILDPLASTIC granulate will decrease significantly due to economies of scale. WILDPLASTIC has built a significant lead with a recycling rate close to 100%.
4) In order to ensure a reliable and stable inflow of supply, WILDPLASTIC has built an extensive network of collection initiatives (Plastic Bank, EMPOWER, Plastic for Change). This is a decisive advantage, especially when attracting B2B customers who rely on stable deliveries. The new capital raised in this round will help to further expand this network and strengthen existing relationships.
5) Due to continuous development and optimization of the cleaning and recycling processes, the products are of high quality. This high quality granulate serves as base material for standard production processes.
6) Founder and CEO of WILDPLASTIC Christian Sigmund lives and breathes the spirit of the company. He has gathered an incredibly strong and mission-driven team with Dieter Gottschalk (Recycling Specialist); Jascha Mähler, (Sustainability Lead); Katrin Oeding (Design) and others. Fridtjof Detzner, our partner, is a founding member of the company and still advises on Strategy.
7) We are interested in all forms of enterprises capable of triggering a shift towards sustainable economic systems that operate within the planetary boundaries. WILDPLASTIC is a steward-owned company, a form of business for independence and long-term purpose. The investment structure that we developed together with Purpose Ventures e. G., Golzern Holding GmbH und Pandion Innovation for Impact can serve as an inspiration for VC investments in similar companies.
8) Last, but not least, we love the WILDPLASTIC brand. It is a strong consumer brand that also serves as a quality seal for uncompromising sustainability. Branding is another area that will be significantly accelerated by the capital raised.
WILDPLASTIC`s impact in real time
In order to showcase their impact to customers, investors and the wider public the WILDPLASTIC team partnered with us to track and visualize their impact on GHG emissions and waste in real time — a great move towards more transparency. Check it out here.
Looking forward to our joint journey!
Company information Planet A
Founded in 2020, Planet A is an impact investment fund targeting for-profit start-ups that have a measurable positive impact on our planet while building scalable businesses. Planet A partners with European early-stage companies having the potential to scale globally. The start-ups have to contribute to significant positive change in at least one of four key areas: climate mitigation, waste reduction, resource savings and/or biodiversity protection. For its portfolio companies, Planet A offers support with:
- impact measurement: scientific impact assessment, forecasting and visualization,
- the Planet A Network: a diverse network of experienced German and European entrepreneurs,
- long-term funding : early-stage investments with interest in follow-on rounds.
Planet A’s vision is to make impact investment the new normal.