Circular launches buy and sell digital platform for recycled plastics
Circular.co has publically launched a digital platform that introduces a new way to buy and sell sustainable commodities at scale, starting with a focus on recycled plastics. The platform helps industries evolve to a more sustainable future by offering efficient online trading, accessible data, and transparent economics. Circular's digital infrastructure tools help to simplify supply chain logistics by doing all the sourcing, vetting, matching, contracting, shipping, and billing.
"Circular's focus is on the big economic and environmental picture behind helping brands and major manufacturers access the materials they need to meet sustainability goals," says Circular's founder and CEO, Ian Arthurs. "There is more than enough [recyclable] material out there to meet demand, but the industry has lacked the infrastructure and economic transparency to support greater recovery and circularity."
"Circular selected recycled plastics to start because of the scale of opportunity and challenge this industry faces," says Aidan Madigan-Curtis, partner at Eclipse Ventures and board member of Circular. "Over 380 million tons of virgin plastic are produced each year and global recycling rates remain under 91 percent, dropping to under 5 percent recently in the US. This results in oceans of waste, microplastics in our bloodstream, and roughly 2 gigatons per year of CO2 pumped into our atmosphere."
"The plastics industry is essential to the global economy and clearly needs to evolve sustainably as fast as possible," says Madigan-Curtis. "The digital tools required to help this sustainable evolution already exist in other industries; it's inevitable they will apply to the plastic industry. Our aim is to expedite the process."
Method and Ripple Foods founder, Adam Lowry, is no stranger to the challenges companies face sourcing quality recycled material.
"We applaud major brands and manufacturers setting sustainability goals to reduce their dependence on virgin plastic. Now is the time to take real action on those pledges," Lowry says. "With positive economics, recyclers are investing in more capacity, and Circular's digital platform gives buyers and sellers more options, making trading easier. For the first time in over a decade, I feel confident we've got the right ingredients for real change," he said.
"By delivering a transparent digital trading experience, brands and manufacturers can now confidently buy sustainable materials at scale," says Arthurs. "This creates a clear economic opportunity which in turn stimulates innovation to create more supply, more liquidity, and ultimately greater circularity, less waste and less CO2. Marrying the best of technology with the reality of how plastic is bought, creates a real win-win, which is ultimately Circular's goal," he added.
For the past year, Circular and Eclipse have been conducting research and development and testing the digital platform among buyers and sellers. Circular.co is now prepared to launch and offer real scale for global buyers and sellers.