Digital platform aims to transform recycled plastics marketplace

Circular.co has launched a digital buying platform for sustainable commodities, starting with a focus on recycled plastics.

Circular’s digital infrastructure tools do sourcing, vetting, matching, contracting, shipping and billing for its customers. The process is guaranteed, and the company offers assistance via a dedicated concierge.

For the past year, Circular and funding partner Eclipse Ventures have been conducting research and development, and testing the digital platform among buyers and sellers. Circular.co is now prepared to launch and offer scale for global buyers and sellers.

“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,” said 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,” he added.

Over 380 million tons of virgin plastic are produced each year and global recycling rates remain under nine percent, dropping to under five percent recently in the U.S.

“Circular selected recycled plastics to start because of the scale of opportunity and challenge this industry faces,” said Aidan Madigan-Curtis, partner, Eclipse Ventures and board member of Circular.

“The plastics industry is essential to the global economy and clearly needs to evolve sustainably as fast as possible. 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,” she added.

As an early adopter of sustainable packaging, 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 said.

“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.