San Francisco, Paris, Singapore, Shanghai, São Paulo, Johannesburg

End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform

Ideas come from anywhere in the world. That’s why we partnered with Plug and Play Tech Center in 2019 to develop the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform—to foster startups from across the plastic value chain, and transform plastic waste management around the world. In February 2020, we kickstarted the first Selection Day with 10 finalists in our inaugural Silicon Valley hub.

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Weligama, Sri Lanka: Volunteers at The Surfer surf camp after a Sunday morning beach cleanup. Courtesy of Empower.

Weligama, Sri Lanka: Volunteers at The Surfer surf camp after a Sunday morning beach cleanup. Courtesy of Empower.

Overview

We have attracted over 3,000 startups across 6 hubs—in Silicon Valley, Paris, Singapore, Shanghai, São Paulo, and Johannesburg—with over 100 eventual finalists participating in our accelerator programmes. Over US$50 million dollars have been invested and more than 100 commercial pilots are underway to turn their ideas into sustainable, scalable solutions.

Location

San Francisco, Paris, Singapore, Shanghai, São Paulo, Johannesburg

Local Partner

Plug and Play Tech Center

Enabling partnerships for innovation

The End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform identifies innovative ideas in the following key areas:
  • Collection, management, and sorting of plastic waste
  • Recycling and processing technologies
  • Extraction and value creation from post-recycled plastics

Once identified, the startup finalists from each regional hub participate in a 12-week residency programme that helps them fine-tune their pitching and presentation skills, meet industry experts among our member companies, and get valuable access to potential investors through Plug and Play’s extensive network.

The first programme was launched in the San Francisco hub, in the heart of Silicon Valley, where 10 startups were selected from a streamlined list of 50 applicants, followed by the Paris hub programme in January 2020, and the Singapore hub programme in August 2020. Since then, we have launched 3 other hubs in 2021 in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Shanghai, China; and Johannesburg, South Africa, providing startups from these regions with access to world-class resources and expertise through the accelerator platform.

“Innovation is at the core of the Alliance. This partnership has a unique approach to identifying and supporting startups and innovations across the globe to fundamentally transform current waste management practices through new recycling technologies and by creating value for recycled plastics.”

Jacob Duer, President and CEO, Alliance to End Plastic Waste

Changing the future of plastic waste management

The platform has already seen success in its first cohort from the US, France, and Singapore hubs.

Circularise, a startup from the Paris hub, has partnered with our member, Covestro, and non-member, Domo Chemicals, to develop a standard for transparency within the plastics industry using blockchain.

Oceanworks is collaborating with member company Avient Corporation to launch new recycled plastic formulations, which could be used in personal care products, lawn and garden tools, outdoor goods, office supplies, footwear, and houseware durables.

We partnered with Litterati from the Silicon Valley hub, to launch our inaugural ALL_TOGETHER Global Cleanup in 2020. Together with participating member companies, partners, and communities around the world, we collected over 774,000 pieces of litter—all of which was tracked using the Litterati app.

“I believe when we bring together all the stakeholders—large corporations, entrepreneurs, startups, and universities—you can create real change. By devoting resources and attention to this global issue of plastic waste, we can make a difference in the environment. Through this platform, I commit to spend more of my time on sustainability-focused initiatives and will invest in 20 startups in this space per year.”

Saeed Amidi, Founder & CEO, Plug and Play

BioMec

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Nampula, Mozambique: BioMec helps turn recycled plastic waste into life-changing prosthetics. Courtesy of BioMec.

Plastic is a necessary resource, but plastic waste can also be life changing. BioMec is a startup that uses recycled plastic waste and turns it into prosthetics limbs—20 times cheaper and 40 times faster to produce that traditional methods—for the disabled to have a new lease on life.

Website: http://www.biomec.co.mz

Sesa Recycling

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Tema, Ghana: Sesa Recycling organised a buyback event in Kokrobite, Ghana, for World Cleanup Day 2021. More than 2,800 kg of plastic waste was collected. Courtesy of Sesa Recycling.

Aiming to increase recycling rates in Ghana by incentivising recycling, Sesa Recycling is a startup that rewards people who recycle with credit which they can use to purchase daily essentials and pay home utility bills.

Website: https://www.sesa-recycling.com/

Soso Care

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Abuja, Nigeria: Soso Care works with vulnerable communities in Nigeria to collect plastic waste and sell it to recyclers. It in turn uses this income to provide health insurance coverage to these communities. Courtesy of Soso Care

Soso Care helps turn people’s waste into protection—namely, health insurance! This Nigerian startup has so far helped insure 4,800 people by collecting and recycling their plastic waste, reclaiming its value for the community.

Website: https://sosocare.com/

The Great Bubble Barrier

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Amsterdam, Netherlands: The first Bubble Barrier in action in Amsterdam. Courtesy of The Great Bubble Barrier.

Imagine using bubbles to stop plastic waste from leaking into the ocean. The Great Bubble Barrier does just that by using a curtain of bubbles to divert plastic waste into a floating catchment system.

Website: https://thegreatbubblebarrier.com/

Empower

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Arusha, Tanzania: Informal waste pickers in action, helping to clean up plastic waste in the communities. Courtesy of Empower.

Empower, a startup from Paris, incentivises informal waste pickers to collect plastic waste and exchange it for digital tokens, which can then be cashed out. This encourages higher collection and recycling rates, creating new income streams for vulnerable communities. Not only that, the plastic waste is then recycled into products, like clothes and consumer goods, whose origins can be traced back to the original source where the plastic waste was collected.

Website: https://www.empower.eco/

AMP Robotics

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Louisville, Kentucky, United States: Using artificial intelligence and robotics, AMP Robotics aims to increase efficiency and consistency of sorting and processing of waste. Courtesy of AMP Robotics.

AMP Robotics uses computer vision, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and robotics to sort waste safely and efficiently—based on shape, size, type, and brands—up to 99% accuracy. Their systems are modular and can be integrated with existing sorting facility systems within 48 hours. As of December 2020, AMP Robotics has deployed more than 60 systems globally.

Website: https://www.amprobotics.com/

ReciclApp

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Santiago, Chile: ReciclApp makes recycling convenient through doorstep waste pickup. Courtesy of ReciclApp.

To battle the culture of convenience, ReciclApp, a startup from Chile, connects anyone who wants to recycle with recyclers, who will collect their recyclables at their doorstep. Participants can also earn points for discounts and products.

Website: http://reciclapp.cl/