One of the biggest challenges humanity is facing today is the drain on natural resources by conventional consumer industries and the immense amount of waste caused by disposable items. To help realize ideas that make the most efficient use of resources and reduce waste drastically, Landbell Group CEO, Jan Patrick Schulz came up with the idea for an award that promotes Circular Economy innovations. In 2014, the Green Alley Award, Europe’s first startup prize for the circular economy, was born. Since then, over 1,000 startups from more than 50 countries have applied with their business idea in the field of recycling, digital solutions or waste prevention. In 2019, Flustix from Germany was one of them. The Berlin-based startup has invented a consumer trust mark to increase transparency and raise awareness amongst consumers. Their idea convinced the Green Alley Award selection team and Flustix made it to the finals, where Green Alley Award’s partner Seedmatch, Germany’s leading crowdfunding platform, presented them with their own Seedmatch Crowd Award.
Plastic pollution has reached new dimensions. Today, plastic residue and tiny plastic particles can be found in food, water and soil. The consequences for the environment and human health are fatal. In 2017, when Malte Biss, journalist and founder of Flustix, came home from his weekly grocery shopping for his family of five, he was shocked by the huge amounts of plastic packaging that came with the products. This was the starting point for Flustix. The name ‘Flustix’ is a new word, created from the claim ‘free of plastics’. The startup’s mission is to cut the use of plastic and rethink synthetic materials in general. ‘Environmental protection is everybody’s business,’ states Malte Biss. ‘With FLUSTIX every consumer has the chance to make a difference. Companies react to this increasing demand for plastic-reduced packaging and use less plastic already in the production process. FLUSTIX offers guidance to consumers and gives businesses the chance to adapt their products to consumers’ wishes. A win-win-win situation for consumers, the economy and the environment. Our goal is to reduce the use of plastic and change people’s perceptions. Plastic is a valuable material. It is irreplaceable in medicine, transport or research, but let’s not use it to turn every article into a disposable product.’
Different coloured trust marks indicate whether products and/or packaging are free of plastics and microplastics or are made of recyclates. Producers that want their products to be certified have to pass a thorough examination by an independent certification body. Malte Biss is convinced that it is up to consumers to reduce the huge amounts of plastics we use today. ‘Only consumers can really make a difference. Consumers need reliable guidance, which is independently and transparently proven and awarded. Only Flustix with its established testing and licensing partners – RAL, DIN CERTCO, TUV and the Wessling Group – reliably offers this in the area of plastics.’
Flustix also works together with environmental organisations and actively supports regulations within plastic production. In 2019, the startup was listed as a best practice example on the European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform by the European Union. 25 licenses have already been issued, amongst them for big brands such as Kneipp.