Billions of tons of industrial waste worldwide are generated every year, many of which have so far been landfilled or incinerated. The recycling rate in this area is in single-digits levels. This is regrettable in two ways: the environment and climate are unnecessarily polluted, and valuable materials are lost that could prevent the use of new materials. The cause of this problem often lies in the lack of connection - between those who generate waste and those who could put the materials to good use. That's why several international startups are working to develop platforms for exchanging such products, a kind of "Ebay for waste". Three of them are currently in Circular Valley® and are decisively advancing their ideas there.
The initiative, which aims to make the extended Rhine-Ruhr region a global hotspot for the circular economy, currently supports 14 young companies from around the world. These startups are engaged in different topics (water treatment, green building, sustainable transport, renewable energies and platform solutions) and share one characteristic: their ideas have a "giga-impact," which means they can avoid emissions in the order of billions of tons.
With the platforms, Circular Valley® draws attention to a concern that is a regular topic in the initiative's network. Partners from the established industry state that their production practices often give rise to material streams that they can no longer use, but that could still help others. At the same time, companies repeatedly mention their ability to turn residual materials back into valuable materials, if they were given the residual materials. The following three startups are working on this crucial link: