8. Feb 2024

Kleen Hub: A local solution with a global impact on single-use waste

Kleen Hub has created a solution that minimizes single-use waste. With a 98% recycling rate, they have designed a cup and wrapper return system that works. Kleen Hub’s CEO, Robert Dichtl, is in Brazil to test his product with the help of Denmark’s Water and Environment Cluster.


Kleen Hub has cracked the code on minimizing waste for single-use packaging. With a 98% recycling rate, they have designed a smart and innovative cup and packaging return system that works. Currently, Kleen Hub’s CEO, Robert Dichtl, is in Brazil testing their solution with support from Denmark’s Water and Environment Cluster.

Read more about the solution here


It started in 2020 in Copenhagen, where the company began selling metal food boxes. After three months, they sold metal cups with a unique NFC to cafés instead. Consumers could return them and get a refund by downloading their app. The system is also available in other European countries, but Kleen Hub wanted to remove the obstacle of downloading an app. So they developed their product, so you tap the cup on a tablet, then your credit card, and voila – the cup is registered, and the barrier is gone!


“The barrier is the download of an app and the registration process. We used to give cafés 500 cups, but we realized that many had their unique ones, so we said to ourselves: Instead of our cup, why not offer cafés the chip solution? Now only the cup and payment method get scanned within some seconds.” Says founder Robert Dichtl


Once the cup and your credit card are registered, a countdown of about 10 days begins. A fee is charged if the cup is not returned by the deadline. So far, the method has demonstrated an impressive success rate, with 98% of cups being returned on time and increasing willingness to try the system among customers.


“We see a 98% return rate. So we only charge for the last two procent”


A pilot project in Brazil kick-started a South American adventure

The solution is not only a hit among cafés and restaurants in Denmark. Kleen hub is also getting noticed in Brazil.


“Last year, we were invited via the EU project CPAP to South America to minimize plastic waste. Here, Clean helped us meet partners and open up opportunities for us” says Robert Dichtl.


Kleen Hub saw a huge opportunity to be a local Danish solution and become a global player. At the same time, Clean assisted the company in exploring new funding opportunities after the CPAP project. Through an innovation partnership through Clean, Robert and Kleen Hub can stay in Brazil for six months and explore whether there is a viable business case. The Innovation Partnership has co-funded Kleen Hub and their partner, ARIS Robotics, with 485.000 DKK.

Read more about the innovationsproject here.


“Without the funding from Clean, it was impossible to go to Brazil. We don’t just want to be a local Danish solution but a global player. Clean has helped us greatly with this,” Robert said.


Among other things, the allocated funds were used to launch a new project at a stadium in Brazil. After conversations between Kleen Hub, Clean, and the Maracanã stadium in Rio, the latter showed significant interest in their solution, paving the way for further collaboration.


Clean provides opportunities for development

Kleen Hub has been a member of Clean since 2021, taking advantage of the cluster’s various opportunities, from exhibiting at events like TechBBQ and LOOP to innovation partnerships and presentations as a speaker. Robert says Clean has helped him and Kleen Hub a lot over the years, especially with the South American opportunities. Clean’s project manager, Maria Dominguez, has been a critical person who has helped with the language and network building in Brazil.


“Maria has been really skilled and insanely helpful. Without her and Clean, we probably wouldn’t still be in Brazil.”


Join Clean today

The Innovationproject is co-funded by the Danish Board of Business Development and The European Union.

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