We need to eat food. We need to drink water. We need to wash our hands. But we do not want our needs to destroy the environment we live in. To poison the food we eat. To pollute the water we drink, and wash our hands in. But right now they are. Because the plastic packaging our needs come in has to be thrown away. And only 15% of plastic is designed to be recycled. If we do not take action now, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
But do we have another option?
Faulty product design and distribution systems
The products we use should not be fuel for irreparable resource problems and environmental destruction. Products should enrich human life in such a way that it encourages reuse, rather than wasting resources that are already limited. They must serve, rather than pollute. Right now however the grand majority of products are designed for a linear production line. This means that a lot of products have a short life span and a destructive effect on our society. This can, and has to change.
We need to transform the value chain of plastics from linear to circular. And not just recycle plastic waste, but offer more ambitious alternatives.
Scaling and bridging existing solutions
Worldwide there are loads of small-scale initiatives and businesses proving that these alternatives are possible. They are pioneering in smart product design, material innovation and distribution systems. And they have the potential to disrupt the linear market by replacing the same product chain with a circular one.
The problem is that these innovative, entrepreneurial solutions rarely are replicated nor reach sufficient scale. Knowledge gaps, significant uncertainties, and requiring high investments are just some of the blockades.
Enviu scouts and supports these innovations to scale and connect to the established industry. So that they can maximize their impact! Because that is what Enviu is good at, with 70% of our founded ventures still going strong.
Implementing in upcoming economies, starting with Southeast Asia
Hand in hand with this scaling program in the Netherlands, Enviu is developing a program together with relevant partners to implement the relevant innovations in upcoming economies. Starting with Southeast Asia.
Because yearly 8 million tons of plastic leaks into the ocean worldwide, of which 60% comes from 5 countries in Southeast Asia. And if we do not do something, it is only going to get worse. Asia’s population is growing exponentially, causing production and consumption of plastics to simultaneously skyrocket.
Plastics is an essential theme for Enviu as the current system is inhibiting access to basic, unpolluted goods for many. We consider disruptive innovation essential in this market.