Climathon Stories

'WhatPackage' Delivers a Sustainable Solution for Package-Free Shops in Tallinn

The city of Tallinn joined over 130 cities worldwide for a 24-hour climate hackathon, co-organized by Cleantech ForEst and Ergo.


The city of Tallinn joined over 130 cities worldwide for a 24-hour climate hackathon, co-organized by Cleantech ForEst and Ergo. With a focus on the circular economy, the Tallinn Climathon urged participants to rethink current systems to eliminate waste and expand on the continual use of resources. The challenge directly aligned with EIT Climate-KIC's main objective of supporting transformative innovation to trigger a shift in the system.  


The circular economy adds value to existing products and materials, creates revenues from production residues and removes non-degradable waste from nature. With the climate crisis unfolding before our eyes, the need to detour from the current “take, make, waste” model toward a “make, use, return” model becomes increasingly critical. Mass-delivery services like Amazon only amplify the problem because e-commerce packaging creates tons of unrecycled waste. In fact, the average European creates 170 kg of packaging waste per year. The production of packaging materials requires a large amount of energy and 96% of these materials are never recycled. This unstainable consumption model disturbed Liisa Aavik, a team member of the winning Climathon solution. 

“This was one of the reasons I wanted to take part in Climathon: to find like-minded people who are also annoyed with this problem and want to be part of the solution,” explained Liisa. 


At the same time, more package-free shops are popping up in urban areas, allowing people to buy goods with their own bags and boxes. But the model hasn’t been brought to scale - until now. ‘WhatPackage’ is an international service for zero-waste shops that enables package-free delivery from door to door. The platform offers a reusable deposit container system with a washing solution and sustainable delivery.  

The solution is currently scalable to 700+ shops worldwide and 450+ shops in Europe. By exploiting the potential of existing package-free shops, WhatPackage brings sustainable opportunities to cities and supports local communities. Not only does the solution reduce packaging waste, but the average family's carbon footprint drops from 1500 kg to 80 kg. Shop owners can also expect to see an increase in sales by about 30%. Currently, the solution is being tested through pilot agreements in Tallinn, Tartu, Riga and Ljubljana.  

Meet The Team  

Sharing a comprehensive skillset perfectly fit for the challenge, here are the brains behind WhatPackage: Liisa Aavik, zero-waste coach and sustainability journalist; Julija Bulgakova, environmental engineer; Rodion Kryuchkov, developer; Karolin Luik, financial advisor; Anna Zhukova, developer; and Anna Rodionova, researcher. Together, the team boasts over 30 years of experience at the crosswords of tech and sustainability.  


Climathon empowers citizens, cities and local economies to come together to develop local solutions to climate challenges and help cities can make a fundamental transition to a sustainable future. The teams with the most inspiring ideas will have the chance to present themselves at the ChangeNOW International Summit for Change in Paris on 31 January 2020. WhatPackage, along with nine other nominees and five cities will be celebrated for their climate action solutions tackling urban challenges. 

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