The Rebound Plastic Exchange platform launching this summer has been described as ‘an intervention that will transform the world’s plastic recycling industry’.
Set up by the International Holding Company (IHC), it is a global marketplace for recycled plastic feedstock that aims to trigger growth in the circular economy, while reducing toxic plastic pollution.
“We’ve developed a global trading solution that offers a large-scale opportunity to reduce some of the world’s plastic pollution via recycling,” said Maryam Al Mansoori, General Manager of Rebound Ltd. “By capturing the value of plastic feedstock, we allow companies across all sectors, from apparel to automotive, to access recycled content with confidence, while creating new opportunities for communities in the value chain to grow their economies.”
It comes at a time when IKEA, Unilver, Starbucks and dozens of other big brands, and financial institutions, have signed a statement demanding a new legally-binding UN treaty that takes a circular approach to addressing plastic pollution on a global scale is agreed at the UN Environment Assembly starting later this month.
Plastic pollution was labelled a ‘public health emergency’ in 2019 when a report revealed that ‘400,000 to one million people in the developing world are dying every year as a result of mismanaged waste including plastic’.
In Malaysia, where there are operations that are illegally incinerating and burning plastics, citizens are suffering respiratory problems, especially children and the elderly.
The devastating impacts of plastic pollution won’t be easily reversed, and as we said in our article Wishcycling won’t protect planet, big brands have been more than happy to pass the buck, and hide behind big promises that are often never delivered. What has changed is that people are more aware of the scale of the crisis and are thinking like citizens rather than consumers on the issue.
Warnings there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, without change, and reports of a swirling patch of visible micro plastic waste in the pacific, are some of the headlines that have motivated the wider public to push corporations and governments to take action.
And in 2020 governments worldwide did take a step in responding when 180 countries agreed to place strict limits on exports of plastic waste from richer countries to poorer countries.
For the first time, the trade of plastic feedstock will see the same levels of trust and transparency that exist in the market for other commodities.
Douglas Woodring, Lead Expert of Rebound Ltd
The new Rebound Plastic Exchange being established in Abu Dhabi will, it says, ‘introduce globally recognised standards, certification, insurance, and quality assurance into the supply chain’. It also has a goal to create ‘new economic opportunities and a point of market entry for the estimated 80% of countries without domestic capacities to process or consume plastic feedstock, or both’ which should hopefully mean it can help provide another meaningful step towards solving the global threat of plastics.
“The availability of a reliable advanced recycling system will play an essential role in helping address plastic in the environment of many countries around the globe,” added Syed Basar Shueb, IHC’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.