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Circular economy startups have emerged with significant traction in the past year. (Image: Gary Chan)

Manufacturers have produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics over the last 60 years. In the last four decades, global plastic production has quadrupled. If this trend continues, plastic manufacturing will make up 15% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

If that wasn’t enough, 14% of plastic is collected for recycling globally, with the rest ending up in landfills and oceans. As a result, we are seeing an increased amount of microplastics end up in our ecosystems.

We need to look at solving this problem by stopping plastic waste being created in the first place. This means eliminating plastic we…


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Algae-based crude oil (Image: Manta Biofuel)

Manta Biofuel recently secured $1.3M — $1.07M through its Republic crowdfunding campaign (with $175K on the waitlist), and the remaining capital from angels, including Eric Uhrhane (investor in C16 Biosciences and Prometheus Fuels, among other cleantech startups) and Jonathan Defoy (CEO of FoodHero). Manta Biofuel is using algae to make a cost-competitive, renewable replacement for crude oil.

Why does this matter?

  • The US consumes 1 billion gallons of fossil fuel every single day, emitting 300 trillion pounds of CO2 annually.
  • The marine shipping, automotive, trucking, aviation, and manufacturing industries are heavily dependent on oil — 0.1% …

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Changing the way you feel about plastic. (Image: Great Wrap)

Jordy Kay, the CEO of Great Wrap, took some time to talk about what he’s working on to solve plastic waste and where the market is heading.

How/why did you start Great Wrap?
At age 15, I dropped out of high school and moved to Europe, worked in vineyards, and eventually started my own label, making organic wine. Over time, I became frustrated with the way the world was with packaging and very passionate about climate, and I saw that plastic waste was an issue. …


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Arqlite creates smart gravel from hard to recycle plastics. (Image: Arqlite)

This week Sebastian Sajoux, the CEO of Arqlite, talks about how Arqlite is fitting in to help with plastic recycling and re-use.

How/why did you start Arqlite?

In 2012 I started to learn about B-Corps and creating impact through impact. I decided to travel to Europe to see what I could find out there.

When I got to Europe, I saw solar and recycling bins everywhere. I was amazed by the concept of the sustainability, especially because Argentina was almost 20 years behind. I realized that there could be a lot of positive impact that we could create on the…


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Plastic Back is creating a process to turn plastic back into oil. (Image: Unsplash)

Tal Cohen, the Founder and CEO at PlasticBack, took some time to talk about what he’s working on, what the landscape of recycling looks like, and where the market is heading.

Can you describe what your company does and the impact?
PlasticBack has developed a unique and proprietary technology of plastic waste chemical recycling at far lower temperatures than current processes (below 100 degrees, compared to between 600 and 1000 degrees).

It can become a key in reducing plastic waste worldwide. Using chemical oxidation technology, PlasticBack is able to convert plastic waste (back) to crude oil and valuable chemicals which…


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Transforming plastic waste and cleaning the planet. (Image: Brightmark)

Waste to value processes are gaining momentum. Brightmark, a startup innovating to solve the problem of waste, has announced its intent to form a joint venture with SK Innovation to build a plastics pyrolysis plant in South Korea.

Why does this matter?

  • The world produces 385 million tons of plastic each year — 91% of that plastic never gets recycled. The rest ends up in an incinerator, a landfill, or in the natural environment.
  • Pyrolysis is a critical technology that can help reduce plastic waste.
  • In past, the continuous operation of pyrolysis plants was difficult due to lack of technical…

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mobius’ prototypes of products for the horticultural industry. (Image: mobius)

This week Jeff Beegle, the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of mobius, provides insights on how mobius is approaching the plastics circular economy.

How/why did you start mobius?

Tony Bova and I are the co-founders of mobius. We met eight years ago during undergrad up in Ohio, through extracurricular student groups that were focused on sustainability and renewable energy. In one of these groups, we started a green fund at our university to try to improve sustainability and student involvement on campus.

Through all of that, we went through a business plan competition to try to raise money for one…


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ALBA W&H Smart City is revolutionizing recycling collection. (Image: Alba)

This week Sandra Sajen from ALBA W&H Smart City talks about their solution for waste collection, and how they are thinking about the future of the sector.

Can you describe what your company does and the impact?

ALBA W&H Smart City (ALBA W&H) is a Joint Venture company between the 50-year-old German company, ALBA Group, and the local waste collection company, Wah & Hua Pte Ltd. The ALBA Group, one of the leading recycling and environmental services companies as well as raw material providers worldwide, operates with its two brands — ALBA and Interseroh — within Germany, Europa and Asia.


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Helping eradicate poverty and the climate using upcycled food. (Image: Agricycle)

Agricycle recently won FoodBytes! Pitch 2020 with their vertically integrated portfolio of ethically sourced and upcycled CPG brands with the mission of eliminating extreme rural poverty through market-based solutions. The team gratefully shared more information on their business and impact.

How/why did you start Agricycle?

Josh, the CEO and Founder of the Agricycle, was an engineering student in 2015 when he started a school project in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica to create dehydrators for the purpose of transforming food waste into products. The farmers there said the technology was great, but it was not actually a solution they were…


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Instead of teaching me how to recycle, why not do it automatically. (Image: CleanRobotics)

This week we chatted with Zak Wehman from CleanRobotics about their solution for waste collection, and how they are thinking about the future of the sector.

Can you describe what your company does, the impact, and how it differs from other competitors in the space?

CleanRobotics is a mission driven startup that is reinventing the way we think about recycling across the globe. We are creating a robotic trash can by combining next-generation robotics and sensor technology to automatically sort recyclables from everyday trash. By deploying our TrashBots, we can achieve huge impact.

With just 2 TrashBots, we can sort…

Daniel Kriozere

Impact Investment Analyst at One World | Startup Weekend Facilitator | Climate Tech Enthusiast

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