Circular economy: Atlantic France startups are turning waste into gold

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To make economic development more sustainable, we must use waste as a resource. In Atlantic France, many companies are innovating in order to make industries more circular. Below are some interesting examples of actions taken by the startups Néolithe, Stimcar, Panorama and BYSCO.

Néolithe: a 9,500 sqm industrial centre to reuse non-recyclable waste

The startup Néolithe was created in 2019 in Chalonnes-sur-Loire, near Angers. The company invented an innovative waste treatment which uses the process of fossilisation. It can be applied to ordinary, non-polluting industrial waste as well as household waste, which is usually destined for landfill or incineration. It is transformed into aggregate which can then be reused for construction.

Thanks to the generous financial support of the public bodies (over €9 million) which are financing the facilities, Néolithe will move to a new industrial centre in 2023. The site will initially host a workshop of 4,800 sqm and the project plans to expand it to 9,500 sqm by the end of 2024. The company employs 40 people and is growing fast. €2,5 million have already been raised and a major fundraising campaign is expected soon.

Stimcar: the used-vehicle remarketing specialist is opening 300 positions

Stimcar opened its first centre in Nantes in 2019, before setting up two more in Bordeaux and Toulouse respectively in 2021. The startup specialises in the reconditioning of used vehicles. Expertise, mechanics, bodywork, painting, photo, logistics: the company manages the entire process of putting the vehicle back on the market and giving it a new life.

At the beginning of this year, Stimcar announced some major news: Stellantis, the 4th largest car manufacturer in the world, has invested in the startup to become the major shareholder. Stimcar is therefore greatly accelerating its development: 300 recruitments and 12 business locations are expected for 2022, and the startup will then be “conquering Europe” in 2023.

Panorama: the vegan shoes made from apples and plastic waste

The fashion industry is one of the most polluting of all industries and represents 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To tackle this issue, the startup Panorama, which was created in Nantes in 2021, designs fashionable shoes which are both sustainable and produced in Europe. The sneakers are made with a “vegan leather” called Apple Skin, which is created from peels and residues of fruit juice plants, and the shoelaces are made from plastic waste which is recovered from the sea. “It is by being better that we make the world better”, says the brand which sells its shoes online and in a growing selection of shops across France.

BYSCO: textiles made from mussel filaments  

BYSCO is a startup which was created in Nantes just a few months ago, in August 2021. The company has developed an innovative solution to create textile fibre with the byssus of mussels, a bundle of filaments secreted by these animals which is not needed in the mussel farming industry. The company is positioning itself as a design office for industrial stakeholders who are looking for bio-sourced materials, and is expecting to raise €500,000 by the summer.

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