REPURPOSE

rePurpose is a consumer driven model that invests donations in plastic offset projects that support waste workers in the developing world. 

TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: rePurpose is a social enterprise that retains a percentage of collected contributions to cover operations and organizational growth.

    MORE INFORMATION:  https://repurpose.global/



    THE PROBLEM

    A waste system as globalized as ours means that your trash rarely stays in one place. Rather, trash from developed countries has been landing in developing countries for years, where there are vibrant, informal industries that sort & recycle the waste in often exploitative systems.

    These waste pickers typically recover only high-value plastics, like those in milk jugs or water bottles. However, because soft plastic like chip bags and chocolate wrappers do not have a financial value, these networks do not have an incentive to intercept it from the environment. It is said that 26% of plastic is currently profitable to recycle. The remaining Low-value plastic (LVP) is indiscriminately dumped, often in nature.

     

    THE SOLUTION

    By formalizing the waste industry, rePurpose seeks to recover the low-value plastics that would otherwise end up in landfills or ocean ecosystems, while also empowering waste workers. They effectively subsidize the ethical collection and recycling of LVP, plastics that wouldn’t ordinarily be profitable to recycle.

    Here’s how repurpose works:

    1. Individuals and businesses visit https://repurpose.global/ and take a 3-minute quiz to understand their plastic footprint.
    2. Individuals and businesses can purchase Plastic Offsets to balance their plastic footprint for $2-4 per month ($0.25 per pound).
    3. RePurpose directs those contributions to vetted waste organizations to intercept an amount of low-value plastic equivalent to your plastic footprint. Their partner organizations ensure waste workers work in ethical conditions, earn livable incomes and gain better access to education and healthcare.
    4. Individuals and businesses receive real-time tracking of their social and environmental impact (volume recycled, type of plastic, workers impacted) at the beginning of every month.

    rePurpose creates a customized impact roadmap with each organization onboarded onto the platform based on their individual capacities and needs. Their partner organizations employ waste workers who retrieve landfill, incineration or ocean bound waste directly from the source, by collecting waste from apartment buildings, office spaces, schools, etc.

    This waste is then brought back to central processing locations where it is meticulously segregated by type and cleaned for further handling. Most of the plastic undergoes a secondary level of processing such as bailing or grinding. This semi-processed waste is then sold to authorized recyclers who finish the recycling operation.

    rePurpose is a social enterprise and retains 25 percent of individual or business payments to build their global network, track on-the-ground impacts, and work side-by-side with their partners to execute capacity-improving projects.

     

    ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

    RePurpose operates on a similar model to the carbon offset marketplace, however there is not yet third-party certifications and oversight that can ensure plastic offsets are real, additional, and permanent.

     

    CASE STUDY EXAMPLES

    See the rePurpose founders and first “reBalancers” of their plastic footprint: https://repurpose.global/founders

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