Independently certified: start-up develops plastic alternative from plastic-free raw material

Independently certified: start-up develops plastic alternative from plastic-free raw material 1920 768 flustix


This innovation is causing a stir: The Hamburg-based start-up traceless has developed a plastic-free alternative to plastic and bioplastics. The new material is bio-based but does not consume any food resources; instead, it is made from plant residues from the agricultural industry. Well-known corporations are cooperating with traceless. These include the online retailer OTTO as well as the aviation group Lufthansa.

Production consumes 87 percent fewer emissions than new plastic

The framework data on the new material: The product and production process are free of toxic chemicals. The production and disposal of traceless causes up to 87 percent less CO2 emissions than virgin plastic. According to the Hamburg founders Anne Lamb and Johanna Baare, the material is degraded within two weeks.

traceless is suitable for packaging and disposable items

The company produces traceless as a base material in the form of a granulate. These granules can be processed further by the plastics processing industry with their existing equipment and used to produce flexible films, three-dimensional molded parts, coating, and adhesive applications. traceless is suitable for a variety of products that often end up in the environment unintentionally – from packaging to disposables to products with high abrasion.

Impact is scientifically proven and certified by flustix

The new material was developed holistically, with all impact indicators incorporated into the development process. An initial life cycle assessment (LCA) measures the environmental impact of the material over its entire life cycle – from raw materials to production to disposal. The analysis, conducted according to scientific standards, demonstrates the positive impact on resource consumption, climate impact, and land use. The plastic-free nature of the raw material was tested and certified by flustix and its partners (see here for exactly how this works). “We are delighted to be able to accompany such a promising innovation,” says flustix sustainability expert Xenia Kersten.

The start-up has already won several awards

The young company is causing quite a stir in the industry – and is being recognized with appropriate awards. In the current year, traceless won the German and the Hamburg Founder’s Prizes. Other national and international awards: Falling Walls Venture Science Breakthrough of the Year 2021, Biopolymer Innovation Award 2021 and an award at the Advanced Materials Competition 2020.

First production plant already running

The start-up was founded in 2020 by Dr. Anne Lamp, a process engineer with a PhD, and Johanna Baare, an expert in social impact start-ups. In the meantime, the team has grown to 26 people, and a first pilot production plant is already up and running. Investor interest is high: after a successful seed investment round in spring 2021, traceless received a grant of 2.42 million euros from the European Innovation Council (EIC) as part of the Horizon Europe EIC Accelerator program. A further investment round is planned for the end of 2022.

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Image Credits: traceless