Project News: Business models for re-use and recycling of plastics
SEALIVE project partners Gate2Growth and Greenovate! Europe are developing business models to support the uptake and use of bio-based plastic solutions. This is the first article in our news series on sustainable business models for bio-based plastics.
Plastics are an essential part of our modern economy, but they do significant harm to the environment. Along their value chain, from extraction and processing of raw materials to end-of-life and disposal, plastics cause harm to the environment, wildlife and can impact human health. The scale of the challenge is incredible, with an annual global production of more than 300 million tonnes of plastic and a staggering 8 million tonnes entering the oceans, representing 80% of all marine debris. These plastics have profound impacts on the health of our oceans, entangling and chocking wildlife, poisoning waters and ecosystems with toxins, threatening food safety, human and animal health, and coastal communities. To tackle these challenges, new approaches need to be found to replace plastics with re-usable or compostable alternatives, or with alternatives that can be easily and efficiently recycled.
However, new technologies and materials alone are not enough – getting them into use requires innovation in business models. A business model “defines the manner by which the business enterprise delivers value to customers, entices customers to pay for the value, and converts those payments to profit,” (Osterwalder, 2010). It can be completely unique to the business or deployed by many different companies. No-matter how good a material, technology or service is, without a strong business model, only very limited impact can be achieved.
This is why, as well as developing new materials, SEALIVE is also exploring the necessary business models to ensure their uptake and roll-out. These include circular business models, business models for long-life plastic re-use and the circularity of the sharing economy. You can read more about each of these topics at sealive.eu/news-and-events/
- Osterwalder, A., Yves P. 2010. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
- Eva Guldmann, 2016. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, Best Practice Examples of Circular Business Models
Published 02/03/2021 | Last edited 26/03/2021