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💸 5 Stocks & investments opportunities in the circular economy recommended by World Economic Forum Leaders.
Some data points about the progress of the circular economy + Spotlight on ventures adapting the recycling field & their investment opportunities for the decade ahead.
In one of its latest video, the World Economic Forum shares about the problem of plastic in the oceans & recycling. Let’s dig down and see what are the concrete solutions already in place and who are the leaders we can support today.
Every minute a truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. At this rate, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fishes. The artist Mendy Boca from England is using her time to raise awareness of plastic pollution.
CIRCULAR ECONOMY, A RISING TRILLION $ INDUSTRY:
The earth’s resources are finite. We now clearly know this. It is now also clear that we need a new way of consuming where things produced are reused, recycling is improved and waste is ultimately eliminated. This is what’s known as the circular economy.
Circularity is a new way we produce, consume, and live: without waste.
Promoting the circular economy, which deals with any process or business model saving resources used to produce goods and services. The goal of circularity is to achieve zero waste in a product’s life cycle i.e. whatever you put in, you get out, you put back in, etc.
An example is the water bottle company, company Evian which took a pledge in 2015 during the COP21 to be fully circular by 2025. The circularity of Evian will require the company to rethink their supply chains and adopt sustainable practices while also focusing on consumer recycling behaviors on their bottle products, which resources primarily include plastic, fossil fuels, and water.
In the linear paradigm, we have been living in, a consumer process along (1) extracting, (2) using (3)disposing products. In the circularity paradigm, the consumer process is (1)harvest (2)appreciate (3) fertilize. It is circular because the end product is used as the natural resource input. The result of circularity is not only it’s the physical result, circularity starts in consumers’ heads, by understanding that we have reached planetary boundaries on all accounts across all factors and that we no longer can extract, use and dispose of it.
The next 10 years are all about cleaning up the entire value chain.
Ventures adapting the energy field today:
SPOTLIGHT: The Pollution cleaning opportunity - The Ocean Cleanup *
A 2007 World Bank study is thought to have put pollution-related deaths in China alone at around one million a year, due to poor air and water quality.
As a comparison death from Terrorism globally are less than 1000 people every year.
This led to China massively investing in new renewable technologies. Earlier Western clean air acts have seen dramatic falls in levels of common pollutants, but the rise in urban traffic has made future targets difficult to achieve - hence timelines for banning new diesel and petrol vehicles with Norway in 2025 and France in 2040.
The 20th century saw the development of incredible plastics, but in the 21st century, we face their polluting legacy in our seas and landfills.
The 2017 UN Environment Assembly noted that 4.8 to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic find their way into the oceans annually, creating areas such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Dutch company, the Ocean Cleanup, funded by Peter Thiel, is developing autonomous technologies that could lead to plastic-free ocean surfaces by 2050.
Founder Interview here: Interview of The Ocean Cleanup Founder
CIRCULAR ECONOMY COMPANIES WATCH LIST:
Recycling infrastructures — SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC (SU.PA) The company's Circular activities now account for 12% of revenues and will save 100,000 metric tons of primary resources from 2018-2020. — Leader’s Linkedin contact
Fashion recycling — H&M while being criticized for being one of the worst offenders in the fast-fashion industry, H&M has been trying to make up for it. 57% of the materials used by the H&M group in 2018 were recycled. — Leader’s Linkedin contact
Waste Management — Moreloop (Thailand) an online platform that curates surplus fabric from the large garments of 50 yards – 1000 yards long and textile factories and creates an ecosystem whereby local SMEs can purchase quality fabric at a reasonable price. — Leader’s Linkedin contact
Plastic Recycling — Trashlucky is developing a decentralized recycling collection IoT network that sells the recyclable items people have submitted to recycling factories and share the income with the people via prizes & lucky draws. Given this revenue-sharing model, the more recyclable items everyone submits the higher the value of the prize’s reach. — Leader’s Linkedin contact
Bioplastics — TIPA is developing flexible packaging that has the same end-of-life as organic matter while maintaining the qualities of conventional plastics that consumers and brands have come to rely on — Leader’s Linkedin contact
Water treatment — Cambrian Innovation treats wastewater contaminated by industrial processes, not just turning it into clean water, but even producing biogas that can be used to generate clean energy — Leader’s Linkedin contact
Cars recycling — Lehigh Technologies turns old tires and other rubber waste into something called micronized rubber powder, which can then be used in a wide variety of applications from tires to plastics, asphalt, and construction material. — Leader’s Linkedin contact
Waste Recycling — TriCiclos has built and operated the largest network of recycling stations in South America, diverting 33,000 metric tons of recyclable material from landfills and saving over 140,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. — Leader’s Linkedin contact
Mobile recycling — Miniwiz built a machine is the ultimate expression of sustainable upcycling. It is a mobile upcycling plant that can be transported in two shipping containers to its customers. Once there, it turns 50kg of plastic bottles an hour into a low-cost building material, using no water, and only solar power. — Leader’s Linkedin contact
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