Closing the Gap for Sustainable Medical Materials: Meet BIOVOX's Game-Changing Solution

Corinna Herrmann

Startup Stories

Rising mountains of waste in the healthcare sector and the pressing need for more sustainable solutions have led to a significant challenge in the industry. The disposal of plastic waste, which mainly comes from fossil resources, is a huge burden on the environment and contributes significantly to climate change. The startup BIOVOX has made it its goal to combat climate change and offers bioplastics for applications in medical and laboratory technology. They enable a significantly reduced environmental impact compared to fossil plastics and are an important building block in a truly sustainable circular economy. Co-Founder and Managing Director Julian Lotz tells us more about the BIOVOX solution and what advantages it offers for medical and laboratory technology.

The BIOVOX founding team

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague in a chemical company? 

We offer medical grade bioplastic compounds that enable companies in medical technology, pharmaceuticals and laboratory technology to reduce the carbon footprint of their products by up to 80% while maintaining unrestricted patient safety. The compounds for injection moulding and extrusion processes enable products such as instruments & consumables, but also sterile barrier packaging. Our quality is certified according to ISO 13485, biocompatibility is proven according to ISO 10993.

What problem motivated you to start the company? 

Incredible amounts of waste accumulate in the health sector, quickly 1.5 kg of plastic waste and more per hospital bed and day. Today, the material is de facto made entirely from fossil resources and is not recycled. It is usually incinerated afterwards. You can't release more fossilCO2 with plastic, the climate damage is at its maximum. And this simply cannot be allowed to continue. We want to help stop climate change, and in the field of medically safe plastics there is still a huge gap in terms of sustainability. By the way, climate change itself is really critical for all of our health - so it's not "just" about the planet, but about every single human being.

How do you convince a chemical company to set up a pilot project with you? 

The top of the medical and laboratory technology companies, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, are actively searching for more sustainable materials with which they can reduce their Scope 3 emissions. They are compelled to do so by various stakeholders, especially politicians and investors, but they also want to face up to their social responsibility for a world worth living in. Since there are hardly any offers for sustainable plastics in this quality category - it has simply hardly been an issue in the industry so far - the companies are happy that we are working with them to improve their footprint.The companies appreciate three things in particular: firstly, that we come from the medical sector and speak their language, understand their requirements - including existing certifications. Secondly, that we offer materials that simply work well technically and in terms of patient safety. And thirdly, that we think beyond the material to recycling and product properties and help with greenwashing-free marketing.This is a holistic approach, and holistic solutions are what we need in such a complex industry to become sustainable.

BIOVOX medical grade bioplastic compounds

Who are your current customer (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be?

Currently, we are particularly active in medical technology in the DACH region. In addition to large corporations, it is mainly larger medium-sized companies and hidden champions that are pushing the issue. The pharmaceutical and laboratory sectors seem to be a little later with the topic of sustainability, which is just picking up. But we also work with customers from other European countries and, of course, want to be active in Asia and North America in the medium term.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?

In three years, there will certainly already be some sustainable medical products with our materials on the market that will help patients and the environment. We simply want to create as much positive impact as possible by then. 5HT has already supported us with contacts to pilot customers - more of that is always good. But the visibility in the industry also helps us a lot, of course.

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