“As waste national legislation develops, a market pull for recycled materials must be developed by the industry to ensure a circular economy.” This was my pitch on the project that I have written specially for the MIT Climate CoLab platform. I have come across this platform as a result of the MIT Innovation Challenge event held in São Paulo in May.
The project was inspired by the “Lets partner on Climate Action Now” statement signed by 43 organizations in the spirit of the World Economic Forum to foster public-private cooperation. The companies’ leaders have agreed that the private sector has a responsibility to engage actively in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to help the world move to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. However, they believe the government also has a role to play and this statement is suppose to call upon governments to take bold action at the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015 to secure a more prosperous world for all of us.
The project has proposed the implementation of an Industry Led Initiative in Brazil that would transform the plastic value chain by developing an exclusive market for recycled resins through a collaborative and innovative business model contributing to product value and company reputation. Moreover, this project expects to contribute to shift the recycling discussion in Brazil to a market orientated discussion and assist the implementation of the national waste legislation.
Successful cases can be seen worldwide: 4earth by Technyl is a high performance recycled polyamid material developed by Solvay that competes equally with non-recycled products. Its quality is consistent and supply is guaranteed from sustainable sources providing long term economic viability. Sabic also has 6 recycled resins among their portfolio of innovative plastics. One is the Cycolay PCR resin made from 30% to 50% open loop PCR from water bottles, CDs and other sources and it is intended for electronics applications such as laptop, power adapters and cell phone housing. Perfect circular opportunities.
So why cant we learn from them and develop a market for recycled resins bringing value to waste materials, generate new jobs while minimizing waste and climate change?
Today I got the email from them that the project is among the semi-finalists! It is a very challenging project concept, but it is only by getting together with key experts worldwide that we can hope to learn from each other, address these challenges and co-create practical solutions.