The Green Alley Award recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. This milestone year saw the emergence of PulpaTronics as the deserving winner, embodying the perfect blend of creativity and circular economy principles.

Rethinking RFID: A Green Revolution

The supply chains of today’s industries are laden with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags from clothing labels to travel cards. An astonishing 18 billion of these tags are produced and discarded annually, contributing significantly to the growing problem of electronic waste. Most of these tags inevitably end up in landfills, adding to the ecological issues the world is now facing.

Chloe So and Barna Soma Biro, the innovative minds behind PulpaTronics are striving to improve these issues. This duo, both graduates of Imperial College London and Royal College of Art, envisioned a revolutionary solution: paper-based RFID tags. By eliminating the need for plastic, microchips, and metal strips, PulpaTronics seeks to combat e-waste with elegant simplicity.

Biro explains, “The typical approach in problem-solving is to add something new rather than removing complexity, even if simplification is the better option.”

This ethos forms the backbone of PulpaTronics’ mission – stripping down technology to its essentials for maximum functionality with minimal environmental impact.


From Inspiration to Action

PulpaTronic’s CEO, draws inspiration from her background in venture capital and her exposure to waste utilisation during her time in the US. She was particularly inspired by previous Green Alley Award winner, Aeropowder, which repurposed chicken feathers for thermal packaging.

The innovative paper RFID tag developed by PulpaTronics comes in two versions. The first incorporates a microchip for compatibility with existing scanners, while the advanced version operates without a chip, requiring a new scanner currently under development.


Embracing Industry Interest

Initially, industry interest in PulpaTronics’ solution was slow. However, after winning the prestigious Dezeen magazine award in 2023, the tide has turned. Major brands like UPS, DHL, Marks & Spencer, and Decathlon recognised the potential of this innovation, driven not only by curiosity but also by the compelling price point.

“We were just bombarded.” Brands were captivated by the innovation and, more importantly, by its economic viability. PulpaTronics’ cost-effective approach is a testament to its commitment to sustainability without compromising on industry standards.

Chloe So, CEO

The Path Ahead

As PulpaTronics continues to disrupt the RFID industry with its eco-friendly tags, the journey is far from over. With a focus on simplicity, functionality, and sustainability, this startup exemplifies the transformative potential of circular economy startups in shaping a greener future.

Stay tuned as PulpaTronics paves the way for a more sustainable tomorrow, one tag at a time.