In this article
Introducing an online marketplace of zero-waste philosophy: One man’s waste is another man’s treasure.
 2 min read

 There is a huge drive from consumers towards responsible and sustainable consumption. Entrepreneurs that meet this demand are extremely successful. However, the main restriction for the producers to make these sustainable products is the limited access to secondary resources, especially at large scale. As secondary resources are considered the materials that have already been used at least once, and can be used again as starting materials for new processes. This marketplace provides a solution to give the producers access to those resources.

For who?

Producing and processing companies from all industries can use the marketplace to trade their side- and waste-streams. Trading becomes more beneficial when pure side-streams and large quantities of material are traded. Anyone using side-streams from other processes as their raw materials can profit from the platform, especially for resources that are not standardized as commodities. Standardized commodities such as beef, soy and wheat are already traded.

“Waste is just a resource in the wrong hands” Oliver Waddington-Ball.

Waste or side streams

“In industry, there is no clear distinction between waste and non-waste as there is for consumers. All material streams are somewhere in between being “waste” and “non-waste” depending on the valuable properties of the material. Side-streams turn into waste when people don’t realize they are valuable”, explains Julian Kern, Chief Sustainability Officer at RethinkResource.

Re-use fish waste

We have a demand-driven model on the marketplace: entrepreneurs can register a side-stream or make an offer to request a side-stream.

For example, an entrepreneur who is using fish waste in their products can post a request for fish waste. 

Other people would be able to see that request and make a proposal to them. Then, the entrepreneur can review the proposals and buy the fish waste from those suppliers.  For companies that are interested, they can sign up for beta-testing with us.

Side-streams turn into waste when people don’t realize their value.

Status

RethinkResource is working with the first pilot customers at the moment, making sure the basic functionality works before moving towards advanced features. They plan to open the marketplace in the summer of 2018. “There is a lot more to making the platform work than we initially imagined”, tells Linda Grieder, CEO of RethinkResource. At a later stage, they will also implement the possibility to offer and buy “in-between” products, for instance, from companies who turn waste into protein-rich ingredients.

Future of waste

Grieder argues, “There are more and more applications of secondary resources that could replace primary resources in the future, especially at large scales that makes trading easier and more attractive. Potato peels, raspberry kernels, used canvas or used textile fibres are only some of the examples that can be given for secondary resources. The ideal state is one where materials are kept in the economy at as high a value as possible. The loop is slowly closing towards a circular economy.”

 

About RethinkResource

RethinkResource endeavors to implement a circular economy in Europe. Besides the marketplace, RethinkResource offers an associated consulting business with a focus on material streams and a product certificate for consumer products made from side-streams. This combination of a marketplace and community allows users to emerge as industry leaders with respect to resource stewardship.

Want to get more information about this topic?
Get in touch
Contact person:
Linda Grieder
Function:
CEO
Company:
RethinkResource GmbH
Country:
Switzerland


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