Total votes: 95
Vote for this idea



Christian Rühlmann

Team members

Vrinda Kabra

Fabien Matthias

Verena Thaller

To which topic does your idea refer?

Recycling and Waste Mgt.

Describe your idea! How does it work to reduce / replace plastic? How will you involve others?

circulate – funding the planet’s biggest cleanup with plastic credits

In the global plastic ecosystem, money doesn’t go where the trash goes. We at circulate! believe that we can bridge this gap with a plastic offset service. We give consumers the chance to invest small amounts into recovery and recycling activities in the poorest corners of the world, wherever and whenever they make a purchase.

We involve the customers at the point of sales, potentially ~40mio households in Germany through partnerships with online and offline retailers. The raised funds will be collected in a plastic action fund, which will then kickstart new recycling businesses in the global south as well as support and uplift existing businesses.

A plastic standard is currently under development from Verra (carbon certifier), Southpole (carbon reduction project developer)Nestlé, Danone, Tetra Pack, Veolia and others, which will be used to track and measure impact.

Does it solve the plastic problem?
The plastic problem has many facets. We will not solve it all on our own. But our organisation will greatly contribute to one facett, and that is ethical material recovery and recycling — extracting and processing material from the environment, preventing leakages and rewarding those fairly who are actually doing it.
As a ’sideeffect‘ we will increase the availability of recyclates in the market, which, in turn will reduce carbon emissions of the production of plastic items by up to 70%.

Think bigger - What can you add to your idea to make it 1 million times more effective?

simply put: more partners, and more average Supermarket chain has around 13mio customers. Well known Fashion online retailers have over 30mio. active customers. Expanding across Europe and into the US will potentially give us access to a total population of over 1billion people. If we reach only 1% of those people and convince them to offset their annual plastic footprint, we can achieve a gigantic environmental, social and economical impact in the places that need it the most.

Effectiveness: How much plastic can be saved with your idea?

We will campaign for individual plastic reduction on the consumer level in the Global North, which may reduce the overall plastic consumption.But more importantly our solution will make larger quantities of recycling feedstock available in the global plastic system, which will replace virgin materials, leading to a more circular economy.

Reach: How many people can be reached with this idea?

in stage one (national implementation) we can reach max ~40mio households.with every 10 people participating in the Global North we can create one new stable job with a fair living wage.

Implementation: What does it take to realize your idea or make it even more successful?

We need: - networking: potential partners that will offer this service to their customer base - development: coding the actual plugin / footprint calcultor / app - funding to survive until we go live, and a bit beyond ;)

Sustainability - How sustainable is your idea? What are the benefits for the environment?

With every 2.5€ put into our system we can collect and recycle 1Kg of plastic trash. When 1Kg of recycled plastic material gets used in production, 1.75Kg of carbon emissions gets saved. When we reach only 1% of the German population to compensate their annual plastic footprint, we can potentially raise ~130mio€ p.a. which results in 52.000t (7x the weight of the Eiffel Tower) of plastic trash recycled and 91.000t CO2 (~20.000 cars of the road for a year) saved.