Traceless secures EUR 5 million to produce plastic substitute

German Ministry for the Environment providing funds - founders to build production plant in Hamburg
24 May 2023
Die beiden Gründerinnen des Hamburger Startups Traceless

The Hamburg-based Traceless start-up has secured EUR 5 million in funds from Germany's Ministry for the Environment to build a production plant for its sustainable alternative to plastic, a press release said Wednesday (May 17, 2023). Plant residues from industrial grain processing are to be turned into a natural biogranulate in a Hamburg-based demonstration factory. The aim is to produce several thousand tonnes of the material annually and replace plastic on the same scale saving CO2 emissions, fossil resources, water and arable land.

Potential for environment and Germany as an industrial location

"We need to produce our materials on an industrial scale to make a genuine contribution to solving plastic pollution and the climate crisis. The planned demonstration plant is the next step and funding is essential," said Johanna Baare, COO of Traceless. The founders accepted a cheque for their endeavour from Dr Bettina Hoffmann, Parliamentary State Secretary, in mid-May. The start-up's technology makes plastics environment-friendlier, said Hoffmann, adding: "It combines reduced resource consumption with more climate and environmental protection. This has enormous potential for the environment and for Germany as an industrial location." Around 91 per cent of CO2 emissions and 89 per cent of fossil energy could be saved over conventional plastics, Traceless said.

Industry to use plastic substitute

Plastics remain in demand due to certain properties, such as their lightweight. However, their production is based on fossil resources, such as petroleum, which is particularly energy-intense. Plastic waste causes pollution and poses a huge environmental hazard. Given this backdrop, Traceless has developed a completely biodegradable and natural alternative material. Production is based on natural polymers for which Traceless has filed a patent. The certified material is produced as granules and can be used for various end products such as films and adhesives. The founders had earlier received financial backing from Hamburg's Calls for Transfer scheme.


About Traceless

The bio-economy start-up Traceless Materials GmbH was founded in 2020 by Anne Lamp and Johanna Baare in Hamburg. The company produces its materials on a pilot scale and is now aiming for expansion. The new factory should demonstrate production on an industrial scale. The 30-strong workforce is developing the first pilot products from material with customers and partners.