In a world that is only 9% circular, how can we effectively match waste streams with waste needs?
Did you hear about the event company that makes all their event stands from waste plastic pulled from the ocean? How about the Dutch clothing brand that makes new garments from recycled wool? And the tech company using discarded laptops to manufacture new ones?
These companies are the disruptors to the take, make, waste economy. They are going beyond recycling and embedding someone else’s waste into their products and business models. This is circular economy. Closing the loop on creating products from waste streams rather than raw materials.
We have some big challenges when it comes to dealing with waste, resource scarcity and climate change. It’s estimated that the world is only 9% circular. That is a lot of waste being generated and disposed of somewhere – the global south, landfill, the oceans…. We also face the global challenge of resource scarcity of natural and raw materials not to mention that producing new products may use a lot of energy, and therefore generate a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.
The work that the companies mentioned above are doing is vital and necessary. We need more companies to move towards this circular model.
The challenge I hear time and time again when discussing circular economy is how to match a waste stream with a waste need in a way that is secure and traceable.
For example, as a multinational FMCG, chances are that quite a significant amount of waste is generated in the production of your goods. And while you may be moving towards a more circular approach, that is not going to happen overnight. While you are in the transition period, you will be looking to responsibly report on the waste you generate, how it is treated and ultimately where it ends up.
Did you consider that there is probably a company out there that wants to make something from your waste? And that company needs traceability of the waste product and guarantees of its provenance that you will be able to provide. How will you find each other in the world of waste?
We have created a platform called Loopcycle that aims to keep resources in circulation for as long as possible while also improving transparency in the waste management system. Our platform uses artificial intelligence match a waste stream with a waste need through clever connections and blockchain technology ensures that connections are secure and traceable. This is how it works: