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Martina Zupan (Alterwaste)

Martina Zupan won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award in August 2018 for her business, Alterwaste.

Business Description

In the UK, we generate 80,000 tonnes of eggshell waste each year from consumption. That’s the equivalent of 16 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with crushed eggshells and almost all of them end up in landfill1.
Alterwaste, a start-up set up at Edinburgh’s Napier University, has the mission to make the planet greener by reducing industrial waste and turning it into something with a positive impact, starting with eggshells.
Alterwaste has developed a brand-new patented and fully compostable material from eggshells that can replace plastic and other non-sustainable materials, such as polystyrene, in the following sectors: packaging, food service disposables, cosmetics, gardening and construction.
Rather than manufacturing the products themselves, Alterwaste plans to license their model to other manufacturers around the globe, who will be able to mass produce the compostable material. They plan to work hand-in-hand with waste management companies, and they have a strategic partnership with a global manufacturing company pending.
Martina Zupan, founder of the start-up, has been working a part-time job on the side to help fund the business. She has since received further funding from Scottish edge, Climate-KIC and the Convert Challenge. In August 2018, the company was awarded £5,000 as the winners of a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award.
One thing that surprised Martina when starting up her business was the amount of complex regulation that was in place and she relied on the knowledge of other start-ups and organisations in the industry to help her navigate it. If Martina could give one piece of advice to a would-be entrepreneur, it would be to come up with a clear mission and vision: “In the pre-trading days, doubts often creep in, making you question the direction you are going in. Having that clear vision upon which the business is founded will provide you with the guidance and motivation to stick to your guns.”


You can follow Alterwaste on Twitter and Facebook.

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