Rezero: Trinity Start-Up Changing the Environment for the Better

Do you buy takeaway food? Are you frustrated at the packaging waste left behind? There’s a solution coming! Rezero drastically reduces single use food packaging through an innovative deposit-return system for reusable containers, the first of it’s kind in Ireland. You can now enjoy your food, reduce environmental impact and consume more consciously!

Rezero is closely connected with Trinity. David Weitbrecht completed his undergraduate degree in Management Science (MSISS) before working for a professional services company. It was there he met Dan, who was training (unsuccessfully) to be an accountant. The pair spent their lunchtimes discussing business ideas from translation apps to receipt analysers. Dan left to work in the tech industry, David left soon after and founded ZeroWaste.ie originally selling low waste products such as bamboo toothbrushes through e-commerce B2C.

He quickly realised that B2C sales have a low impact and began to explore options in the B2B world. The food service industry caught his eye as an industry producing an enormous amount of waste where innovative solutions could make a difference. What if businesses switched from plastic coffee cups to compostables? And Zerowaste.ie handled the Supply and Disposal? David approached Dan to join at this stage and the duo were reunited. They pitched to the Climate KIC accelerator facilitated by Tangent and operating out of Trinity College and received 5k to go from idea to business plan.

During this period, David, along with a Donegal Councillor ran the PosterFree.ie campaign encouraging all candidates in Ireland to run plastic poster free during the 2019 May local elections. The #Posterfree campaign garnered national media attention featuring on RTE TV, Newstalk, Today FM, The Irish Times, The Sunday Business Post along with 100+ news articles from across the country.

“While in the accelerator, it became clear that we, as a company, needed to promote reuse over single use. From speaking to business owners and looking in bins the length and breadth of the country, we recognised that compostables were not a long term solution. Climate KIC recognised this as well and thus we were back to the drawing board”, said David Weitbrecht whilst speaking to TBR.

However, motivated by the prospect of something great, they pivoted and focused their efforts on longer term solutions, solutions that follow the core principles of the circular economy. Experiences at festivals and abroad brought encouragement to the idea of a deposit-return system working in Ireland. Out of ZeroWaste.ie, Rezero was born. 

By enrolling in Trinity’s postgraduate course in Creative Thinking, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, David could once again tap into Trinity’s support network for early stage startups. With the new idea, Rezero successfully pitched to join the Trinity Entrepreneurial Society (TES) incubator and has been hard at work finalising the mechanics of the system and laying strong foundations for future national growth. Containers have been sourced and the relevant health & safety/hygiene regulations investigated and satisfied. Six early adopters, all mid-market businesses, have partnered with Rezero to mark the beginning of a 2020 national launch and rollout. Additional partners are actively being recruited to grow this number ahead of the 2020 launch.

“We will scale Rezero to all major food service outlets over the next 6 to 24 months. To achieve our vision of eliminating as much single use packaging as possible, Rezero has set it’s eyes upon international expansion. Our goal is to change consumer habits and be a catalyst for more circular economy based ventures.”

Keep up to date with their social media @zerowaste.ie and @rezero.io for all things circular economy and zero waste.

They’re looking for members to join their team. If you are passionate about having an impact in an exciting and growing startup, please email them at support@zerowaste.ie!

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