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Young entrepreneur dreams of a plastic-free world

Storage boxes, bread boxes, plates: Raphael Stäbler from Filderstadt develops dishes made of sugar cane. He has a Vision in mind: to make the world as plastic-free as possible.

Filderstadt - many people go shopping with the jute bag, swear by unpacked vegetables and choose pasta in a paper packaging. The topic of plastic avoidance is now on everyone's lips. But if you want to pack your Vesper bread in a can, for example, you usually have to look for an Alternative to plastic first.

The Vesper can was the point that made Raphael Stäbler ponder. During his studies, the industrial engineer from Filderstadt encountered a very special material. An Alternative to petroleum-based plastics, namely from sugar cane and minerals, a renewable raw material, completely recyclable and food-safe. Together with his fellow student Fabian Rupp, he founded his own company, "4E solutions", based in Bonlanden.

And the first product? Storage boxes made from sugar cane, which came in 2013 under the name " ajaa!"to the market. In Finnish, that means: to make a difference. This fits well with Raphael Stäbler, because he dreams of a plastic-free world and wants to promote the Prevention of plastic waste. "The beginning is not difficult," he says. "Thinking about what you could change is the important step."Stäbler will become a father for the third time in a few weeks, an environmental and health-conscious lifestyle is also important to him with regard to his children and their future.

Vegan Children's Dishes

The boxes were followed by bread tins and baby spoons, completely new children's dishes were added: plates, bowls and cups. "It's been a long road, "says Raphael Stäbler,"we had our first idea in 2006, and we founded the company in 2012." Boxes, lunch boxes and children's dishes are not only palstic-free, but also without plasticizers, vegan, CO2-neutral and made in Germany: "we produce in Nürtingen and Bempflingen," says Stäbler, and even this processing process is a challenge with every product. Not only should the things be dishwasher-safe and shatter-proof, the children's tableware was about another point: "we needed a scratch-resistant surface, that was not easy," explains Stäbler. The products are manufactured using the injection moulding process, and the necessary tools and machines alone cost around 50,000 euros – one of the reasons why the company is currently looking for an Investor. "We are a Start - up in Growth, "says Stäbler and explains:" with an Investor, we could move the processes faster.“

Award for the Start-up from Filderstadt

The small company from Bonlanden is growing, in addition to the online shop, the products can be bought in organic shops and health food stores, and supermarkets have also expressed interest. At the BioFach Trade Fair recently, boxes, lunch boxes and children's tableware each won the award as the best new product, and the magazine Ökotest rated the lunch box "very good" in 2018. Stäbler sees himself with his ideas and he company on the upswing: "plastic alternatives are very current right now.“ Currently if a new website is to be designed, the online shop will also be refreshed. The Tinkerer Stäbler already has ideas for the next products – but they remain his secret for now.

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