8 promising Rotterdam-based startups that are driving the circular economy

AJ Gonzalez | November 5, 2020

Silicon Canals, by Editorial team, November 3, 2020, in Energy, News, Startups

The Dutch are not new to being environmentally conscious. Back in 2016, the Dutch government launched a Circular Economy in the Netherlands by 2050 program with many objectives. These include a 50% reduction in the use of primary raw materials by 2030 and a goal to reach 100% circular economy in 2050.

The program aims to reduce the amount of harmful emissions that are released into the environment. It also includes the establishment of the Holland Circular Hotspot – a private-public platform hosting – and encouraging the collaboration and exchange of information and ideas between government, officials, research facilities, universities, and private companies to promote circular economy goals.

What is a circular economy?

In the traditional linear economy approach, a product is made and the excess, including the packaging, is discarded after its use. However, the circular economy approach ensures that nothing is thrown away but reused or designed to avoid wastage. In an attempt to realise the circular economy, several Rotterdam-based tech startups have implemented this approach in their business model. Here we have curated a list of circular economy startups in Rotterdam as sourced from Dealroom.

The Ocean Cleanup

Founder/s: Boyan Slat
Founded year: 2013
Funding: €32M

Rotterdam-based The Ocean Cleanup is a social impact-driven company, which has come up with a passive plastic capturing technology. This startup uses ocean currents to gather plastic in water bodies. As per the company, its technology is one of the most important milestones achieved in the process of cleaning up the oceans. The Ocean Cleanup touts to have an incredible impact on the environment.


Founder/s: Laurens Groen
Founded year: 1993
Funding: NA

Milgro enables companies to make the transition from raw materials to using the same. The company follows a unique approach to waste and raw material management keeping the principles of circular economy in mind. Milgro is touted to be a fast-growing company in the cleantech sector and is focused on achieving sustainability in the industry.


Founder/s: Friso Klapwijk
Founded year: 2018
Funding: NA

Understanding the necessity to increase underground water levels, MetroPolder keeps cities liveable through smart water management on paved surfaces. The startup advises, develops, builds, and maintains smart water storage facilities in the city. It considers rainwater as raw material and the source of all life. The Polder roof system developed by MetroPolder is used to irrigate the roof garden with rainwater.


Founder/s: George Ankomah, Jozef Misikk, Max Schulkens
Founded year: 2019
Funding: €100K

Homespring is a furniture-as-a-service platform for the Millennial generation. It offers subscriptions for designer furniture, whereby any payment made can be converted into an installment if the users wish to keep the furniture. Notably, the total payment will not be higher than the regular retail price. Some advantages of choosing Homespring include free home delivery and assembly, enhanced flexibility, and quick delivery, which is usually within a week.


Founder/s: Philip Troost
Founded year: 2014
Funding: NA

Stadsgas is a sustainable initiative, which converts food waste into biogas, organic fertilisers, and electricity. It aims to reuse food waste and offer it to more destinations than ever, thereby reducing unnecessary energy loss. Stadsgas also supplies green energy in the form of electricity, biogas, or organic fertilisers back to the city. Also, it claims to provide sustainable, financial, and social benefits for parties.

Community Plastics

Founder/s: Frans Taminiau
Founded year: 2015
Funding: NA

Community Plastics is one of the circular economy startups that processes household plastics into new products such as street tiles. With the help of volunteers and City residents, they collect plastics and other valuable materials that can be given a second life. They are tackling the issue of waste generation and management in urban areas and depletion of material resources.


Founder/s: Lisanne Addink-Dölle
Founded year: 2011
Funding: NA

Rotterdam-based VerdraaidGoed realises a circular economy by specialising in product design from residual material, social employment, value retention of materials and closing cycles. It engages in a wide range of undertakings such as turning roadside emergency phones into charging stations meant for electric vehicles, converting misprints to produce notebooks, converting old clothing into office decoration materials and much more.

Burgs Foods

Founder/s: Sander Peltenburg
Founded year: 2018
Funding: NA

Burgs Foods specialises in making food products for human consumption from insects. The startup processes insects in various ways. The company believes that crickets cultivation is very sustainable as these use less water and land and can be fed with organic residual flows that are a result of horticulture.

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