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The one and only “truly eco-friendly” power bank - made in Slovenia

The one and only “truly eco-friendly” power bank - made in Slovenia

Date: September 22nd 2021

Author: Alenka Lena Klopčič

Category: En.vision

Topic: New technologies , Economy , Ecology , En.vision

See how a Slovenian startup dived into the global e-waste problem. According to Tomaž Kren of Reusable Technologies, for the sake of our future our slogan should be: rethink, remake and reuse.

According to the Reusable Technologies webpage, “a record 54 million metric tonnes of electronic waste were generated worldwide in 2019, up 21 per cent in just five years. This makes e-waste the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream, fuelled mainly by higher consumption rates of electrical and electronic equipment, short life cycles, and few options for repair. Only 17.4% of e-waste discarded in 2019 was recycled. Due to the recycling process, many environmentally dangerous reactions occur.” But Reusable Technologies recycles differently. Tomaž Kren, the company’s co-founder and CEO, explained how in a video interview which is a part of the ‘Cleantech entrepreneurs for a sustainable future’ series conducted by Energetika.NET for its energy sector audience and supported by WorldChicago.

They started by sorting the good from the bad


“We all know that currently the best performing energy storage system comes from lithium based technologies. Thus, a huge demand for national resources produces a very bad environmental situation. And big demand brings with it a price that we have to pay. Sadly. So we have built an entire ecosystem around this product, and with our knowledge of the entire process and our system software built in house, we analyse collected batteries. We sort the good from the bad. So our advantage is that we reduce batteries and build a power bank with similar even the same specifications as the competition,” explains Tomaž Kren, who started Reusable Technologies together with Rok Goršin.

They met at the Secondary Electrical School, at the Novo mesto School Centre, and since they share similar hobbies (electronics, IT, new technologies, etc.), they have even been developing technological ideas for the reuse of e-waste for quite some time. So the joint startup venture was no surprise. Also, Tomaž has been involved in the humanitarian association Duh-Časa for a long time, while Rok has been gaining experience on various more demanding projects through his company. The idea for rEbank was born after repeated visits to e-waste landfills, as they also explain on the company’s webpage.

“So our system gives batteries an extended life; the bad ones go to composition where we collect recycled materials, then they are sent back to the market for re-use. The circle is closed with this procedure. Everything is focused on the whole ecosystem around the battery cell.”

Tomaž explains further: “When you look at the standard recycling process, battery packs are sent for sorting to their workforce or machine cleaned and processed for a future in manufacturing. But our product is made from materials that are very hard to process via true standard mechanical recycling, where there is a huge amount of harmful on-site products for processing this kind of material. Basically, we reuse existing e-waste. We do not process it mechanically, but rather with our heads.”

First, there was a (LED) light…


But the eco-friendly power bank was not Reusable Technologies’ first idea. This product development grew out of an idea for an eco-friendly LED-light, an idea supported by the business incubator in Novo mesto, a town in the Dolenjska region where this startup is based. The team is now also a part of the KIC Climate’s accelerator and has experience from Slovenia’s Katapult accelerator programme as well.

Answering the question on the key takeaways from all these programmes, Tomaž returns to the idea stage. In his mind, it is crucial for the entrepreneur to truly deeply believe in his own idea. And how does he see the future and the part of its sustainability? “It seems to me that the earlier generation’s mind-set of nothing going to waste is making a comeback. For the sake of future generations, our slogan should be ‘rethink, remake and reuse’. So we have to go back to older people and talk to them.”

“The future’s pattern is predictable. Sadly, predictions are very bad. But if every one of us just invested a little energy, we can make it unpredictable. So let's all start rethinking, remaking and reusing,” Tomaž Kren says, concluding his Energetika.NET video interview on a somewhat visionary note. In this regard, it should be mentioned that he also has a plan to set aside a part of their future revenues for humanitarian purposes. Because this too should be a crucial part of our truly sustainable future, he said in the informal part of our discussion that the company is looking for an investor as well as people willing to work for a share in the startup.

If you want to learn more about Reusable Technologies, visit their webpage: https://reusable-technologies.com/.

Watch the whole video interview HERE.

The production of this video is funded by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by WorldChicago.




This article is available also in Slovene.



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