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Waste is one of the main issues that affects our planet. Indeed, we generate large amounts of waste, such as food waste, old furniture, construction and demolition waste, mining waste, industrial waste, old televisions, old cars, plastic bags, paper, sanitary waste, old clothes, batteries etc. The waste issue has its roots in the capitalism model. We can clearly understand that this topic concerns all of us. The amounts of waste we generate is closely linked to our consumption and production patterns.
To reduce the amounts of scraps, a solution could be transforming them in new products to give them a new life. In fact, there are several supply chains that are in charge of intercepting and recovering paper waste, glass waste and plastic waste. Including, the food and beverage industry is looking for effective and sustainable solutions to recycle and reuse waste. In fact, food waste can be used to realize raw materials for high-value products and help build a circular bioeconomy. In this scenario, Krill Design is a pioneer.Krill Design was born in 2018 in Milan. It is an innovative Italian start-up which proposes a model of Green Economy and contributes to achieve Responsible Consumption and Production, and Climate Action. Krill Design combines the urgent need to recycle with the creation of new exclusive interior décor products by leveraging the concept of Circular Economy, technological innovation, and creativity. The start-up was created by Ivan Calimani, Martina Lamperti and Yack di Maio, who have united their different backgrounds to create innovative bio-based materials by using 3D printing.
The name “Krill” has been selected to express a metaphor. The meaning is quite interesting because it refers to a planktonic crustacean which constitute the principal food of baleen whales. The krills live in colonies, and they are essential for the ecosystem like human beings.
Krill Design’s purpose is to create a “colony” of recycled designed furniture that generate zero impact through the whole life cycle in order to bond Partnership for the Goals to create Sustainable Cities and Communities.
“For us innovation means doing more and better, while having a less impact”. Krill Design is leading a new era of design and production. In fact, Krill Design transform homogeneous food waste, such as peels, seeds, and shells into a 100% biodegradable biopolymer which holds a strong memory of its origin. By using a 3D printer, the materials are processed to create new tailor-made products to satisfy the needs of the customers, usually companies, which have generated the waste. The innovative techniques create unique products, which are impossible to make with any other manufacturing technique.
The process involves the drying and micronization of a homogeneous organic waste, namely of the same type. For instance, only orange peels, only coffee grounds, only potato skins etc. Through the micronization and through the compounding, the treated waste is combined with a biopolymer base derived from palm waste. Consequently, the pellet is created. The pellet is the biopolymer in granular form. The process is concluded with the filamentation and 3D printing of the products. Simultaneously the design phase takes place. The design phase includes the study of characteristics the organic material aimed at inspiring the creation of the finished products. This process led to the creation of different successful projects. The first project realized by Krill Design was the “WasOrange”. This project was designed to Autrogrill (a motorway café chain) with the purpose of recycling the tons of orange peels generated every day into sugar bowls and seats to be used in their stores.
According to Krill Design, innovation means improving, reaching more people, including new companies, doing research on new organic materials, and updating the processes while decreasing the environmental and waste impact. Moreover, the innovation has to be shared and spread. Krill Design’s work and commitment aimed at showing that sustainable does mean “low-quality” or “unaesthetic” anymore. Their engagement aimed at proving that a product could be sustainable and aesthetic at the same time. Lastly, innovation means sensitizing people on Circular Economy topic and respecting the environment.
The founders of Krill Design believe that the problem of discard is a problem that affects all of us and we must contribute to solve it together.
They were inspired by the data that every year ISPRA (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research) produced. Even though people are becoming more aware of the sustainability topic, there are still few concretes solutions that are focused on the waste of food. This occurs due to the classification of the organic materials as “waste”. Nevertheless, they are still rich and full of potential and qualities. A concrete example is Ohmie, the Orange Lamp that is made entirely from Sicilian orange peels.
Krill Design’s involvement aimed at continuing to grow and to have a larger impact in the future. The start-up also wishes to collaborate with the world of Italian design, which is now beginning to understand that it is possible to create something new and creative simply by using bio-waste. Krill is creating a Revolution in the Design panorama.
From its onset, the company has had a huge success by receiving positive responses from the Italian market. Whilst pursuing its economic purposes, the company is heavily involved in the social and environmental field. Specifically, its work also aimed at making people more conscious about the importance of the circular economy. Indeed, by using a multiple stakeholder orientation, the company teach companies and individuals how to have a more sustainable lifestyle. They receive daily feedback from companies expressing the desire to explore new alternative ways to reuse their waste, as well as from people who choose to purchase their circular design products. Thus, the company primarily works on B2B market. The project requests have increased significantly, indicating that the community's interest in the Circular Economy is growing.
They developed several social projects. For instance, Krill Design partner with the Municipality of Milan to create a network of Local Circular Economy. By collaborating with thirty cafés/restaurants, they create sustainable and recycled products. This project, called Coffee Era, is addressed to the neighborhood's community. The purpose was to demonstrate the virtuous circle and "alternative" path to the landfill. In fact, the waste of coffee, drunk at the bar by each of the community's residents, can be transformed into something useful and nice. It is about a broader sustainability that can activate micro-economies and mutual benefits in the local ecosystem. The project resulted in the establishment of a Sustainability District, in which synergies between various resources assist in training and informing on issues of sustainability and social collaboration.
Krill Design entering the design sector, which is considered one of the flagships of the made in Italy around the world, could have faced some threatened and audience’s mistrust. Counterwise, Krill Design was kindly accepted as proved the survey that Krill administered after the launch of its first proprietary product (Ohmie the Orange Lamp). The 500 interviewed people believed that “sustainability” and “design aesthetics” are equally important; and Krill satisfies these requirements perfectly. Indeed, Ohmie gives customers the possibility of furnishing their home with an object in line with sustainable values without compromising the aesthetic or the quality level. These responds increased company’s sentiment and awareness that the goal of spreading a circular principle through aesthetics worked and it was appreciated.
The interest in Krill’s products were not only limited to supporters and single customers, but even by national and international resellers. In fact, “We are sure that our work could give food for thought for people and firms”. The added value that businesses found in Krill Design was a circular alternative to traditional, and obsolete, models. For instance, the project created in order to satisfy the needs of Autogrill.SpA was aiming at reusing tons of orange peel to redesign national stores, which is considered positive for the environment that helped to grow the company-image, reputation and trust. Another example is the partnership of Krill Design with Saletti drinks that carried out an experiment, through a capsule collection, for an alternative management of waste in a virtuous model.
The whole team aligns economic goals with social and environmental purposes, because these three are intrinsically correlated. “In our opinion innovation must be shared”. Economic growth results in the ability to treat greater quantities of waste, which results in a greater diffusion of Krill Design’s vision. Its attention is focused on the fact that production and consumption models can no longer follow a linear trend but must be circular, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible.
Moreover, Krill Design is committed to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable; to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts and to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Domiziana Illengo, Marketing Manager
Krill Design enhance the waste of the food chain through a process of Circular Economy, which transforms the resources of nature into eco-design products.