Technological watch

German start-up works to boost plastics waste collection, recycling in low-income countries

German start-up works to boost plastics waste collection, recycling in low-income countriesAlong with the climate crisis, plastic pollution is acknowledged as one of the worldâ??s biggest environmental headaches. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), anywhere between 19 and 23 mn t/y of plastics waste leaks into the worldâ??s marine environment. 
This has led to the creation of a whole reclamation industry dedicated to solving the problem, which includes Berlin-based start-up CleanHub (Germany; 
Founded by entrepreneurs Joel Tasche, Florin Dinga and Bosse Rothe, CleanHub said it is working to change the way communities in parts of India, Tanzania, Indonesia and Cambodia can deal with the problem of plastic waste. In these areas, access to waste management systems is negligible at best and often non-existent.
The company is working to improve recycling and collection in a range of regions (Photo: Panthermedia/imagebrokermicrostock)
CleanHub said the circular economy currently just doesnâ??t work for such communities, noting that its vision is to â??build an asset-light waste management system that enables a global circular economyâ?. Such an operation is aimed at â??socially motivated entrepreneurs who are dissatisfied with the tight profit margins when establishing critical waste management infrastructure in their communityâ?. It says it wants to give these groups and individuals the best prices for segregated waste.Adapting to stakeholdersTo satisfy its investors that waste is being properly collected and processed, CleanHub developed a track and trace app which monitors waste throughout the waste management process.
Being able to certify collections is an added-value proposition, says CleanHub, since certified waste streams are worth a premium for both feedstock and new businesses, like plastic credits â?? which work like carbon offset vehicles â?? and extend producer responsibility.
The company says its AI system checks every single data point to ensure a clientâ??s waste inventory is correct. Local waste managers â??get a full picture of what is happeningâ?, while larger operators can offer a superior product by certifying their feedstock. 
It says plastic credit providers can increase visibility to bridge the gap between brands and on-the-ground operations, offer customers maximum transparency, and empower customers to back their claims with data and what it calls â??compelling impact storiesâ?.
To date, CleanHub claims to have collected 7.4 mn kg of waste and connected more than 225,000 households to waste management operations.24.11.2023 [254016-0]

Publication date: 24/11/2023


This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31