CleanHub’s ambitious mission to combat plastic pollution and foster a circular economy stands as a much needed innovation in a world grappling with environmental challenges around plastics.
Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans, rivers, and landfills. This plastic can take hundreds of years to break down, and it can harm wildlife, pollute our water supply, and contribute to climate change.
The problem of plastic pollution is only getting worse.
In 2019, the world produced 380 million tons of plastic, and that number is expected to double by 2040.
Plastic pollution is a global problem, but it is particularly acute in developing countries. These countries often have weak waste management systems, and they are major producers of single-use plastics.
In some parts of Asia, for example, it is estimated that up to 80% of plastic waste ends up in the environment.
With a resolute commitment to halting the relentless flow of plastic waste into our oceans, CleanHub envisions a transformed waste management landscape that embraces sustainability and innovation.
At the heart of their strategy lies the aspiration to serve as the pivotal platform for stakeholders deeply invested in the realization of a plastic circular economy.
By infusing trust, transparency, and scalability into the sector, CleanHub is steering the course toward responsible waste management practices that span the vast expanse from bustling metropolises to remote hamlets.
Through their dedication and technology, CleanHub is emerging as a company poised to reshape an industry in desperate need of innovation.
CleanHub’s approach is not confined to abstract ideals; it is firmly rooted in pragmatic solutions and impactful initiatives. The company collaborates with brands that share their commitment to combat plastic pollution.
These partnerships result in funding that fuels the collection of plastic waste from vulnerable coastal areas in Asia and Africa.
This concerted effort addresses not only the environmental repercussions of plastic waste but also the socioeconomic challenges faced by those on the frontlines of waste management.
Blending Technology and Impact Tracking
CleanHub’s commitment to transparency and accountability is exemplified by their utilization of cutting-edge technology. Their track and trace app provides real-time updates on the logistics chain of plastic recovery operations across multiple countries, including India, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Cambodia.
This technological prowess not only ensures efficient operations but also establishes a model of open communication that inspires confidence among stakeholders.
Below is a Q&A with Joel Tasche, founder of CleanHub.
Q: What was the Lightbulb Moment – Origin Story of CleanHub?
A: The idea for CleanHub originated from witnessing the unsettling sight of beautiful places littered with plastic pollution.
The privilege of traveling granted me the incredible chance to surf, sail, and unwind on the captivating beaches of Southeast Asia, Europe, and South America.
Amidst these experiences, a stark reality emerged – the pervasive issue of plastic pollution was impossible to ignore. Plastic waste was omnipresent, tarnishing the beauty of these picturesque shores.
The staggering figure of more than 11 million tonnes of plastic waste flooding our oceans annually hit us hard.
It was a wake-up call that fundamentally shifted our perspective. With an unwavering desire to protect the oceans that held such deep meaning for us, we made a life-altering decision.
This commitment led us to Southeast Asia, the very heart of the plastic pollution crisis. We embarked on an extensive research journey to understand the core of this issue.
Our interactions with a diverse range of stakeholders – from waste pickers and landfill owners to NGOs, government officials, and recycling businesses – unveiled a critical truth.
In these areas, any recyclable material had value and was diligently reclaimed, leaving non-recyclable plastics like bags, wrappers, and containers to be a persistent challenge.
Fueled by this, we devised a solution – to establish a system that assigned value to these non-recyclable plastics, which had long been dismissed due to their lack of worth.
Collaborating with trusted local waste collection partners and teaming up with Geocycle, a partner skilled in converting non-recyclable plastics into fuel, we set our plan in motion.
Central to our strategy was the development of sophisticated software that meticulously tracked each step of the waste disposal process, from initial collection to final processing.
I envisioned CleanHub as a solution that embraces the economic drivers of convenience and growth, by building an infrastructure for a circular economy which keeps resources in use and reduces reliance on virgin materials.
Q: What is CleanHub’s Mission and Vision as a Company?
A: CleanHub’s vision is to stop plastic waste entering the oceans and drive systemic change in the waste management industry by enabling the circular economy of plastic.
The company has set eyes on becoming the platform in which crucial stakeholders for a plastic circular economy depend.
Our aim is to introduce more trust, transparency, and scalability to the sector and promote proper waste management across all areas, from the largest cities to the most remote villages.
Q: How Does CleanHub Impact Lives and/or the Environment in a Positive Way?
CleanHub is creating a positive impact by enabling a global circular economy through an asset-light waste management system.
By focusing on value through software and data, like our track and trace app, CleanHub empowers socially motivated entrepreneurs to establish efficient waste management systems in their communities.
This model makes waste a valued resource rather than a problem, promoting responsible collection and disposal practices.
Through funding the recovery of ocean-bound non-recyclable plastic, we have already enabled the collection and responsible disposal of over 5 million kg of plastic.
This approach reduces pollution, supports sustainable economic activity, and enhances the livelihoods of those involved in waste management, particularly in developing countries.
As a company we strive to increase recycling rates from 9% to 30% by 2030, thus reducing the demand for virgin materials.
Furthermore, we are making waste management accessible to 2 billion people in coastal regions worldwide, particularly in developing countries.
Our track and trace system, verified by TÜV SÜD under the ISO 14064-3 standard, offers unparalleled transparency and accountability, combating greenwashing.
Q: How has the Company been Funded thus far?
A: We recently raised $7 million in a funding round led by Integra Partners and Lakestar, with participation from Silence VC, 468 Capital and Übermorgen Ventures.
The funds will be used to accelerate CleanHub’s mission to eliminate plastic waste entering the oceans and to enable the circular economy of plastic.
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