Eliminating Plastic Waste Through Innovation

plastic waste image of piles of plastic

Plastic waste is a huge problem that demands intense efforts. Currently, the world produces about 430 million metric tonnes annually, and much of this ends up in our oceans.

While efforts to control plastic waste have increased, many methods aren’t available to all countries. Additionally, current mechanical recycling, chemical recycling, and plastic waste processing efforts fall short. We need innovative methods and creative thinking to eliminate this risk.

Zero Draft of Global Plastics Treaty

On September 4, 2023, the UN published the zero draft of a new global plastics treaty. Eventually, it will become a legally binding instrument that compels plastic users and producers to use more sustainable practices.

The importance of this legislation will be monumental once finalized. It mandates a reduction in plastic production, the elimination of harmful plastics, and an end to the exportation of harmful plastics too.

Advancements in Plastic Waste Control Vital

Sadly, we only recycle about 10 percent of plastic waste. Much ends up washing up on shorelines or creating large floating islands in our oceans and seas. Plastic makes up 80% of all ocean debris.

Even more disturbing is that plastic pollution is also found in deep-sea sediments and within marine animal digestive tracts. It also entangles marine animals causing injury or death.

Creating a Circular Economy

One of the major changes suggested by the UN treaty is the move towards a circular economy. This method balances production with consumption of energy and materials.

Eliminating waste and pollution is one of the core principles of the circular economy. This is not only vital to plastic waste elimination, but the reduction of climate change effects and biodiversity loss.

Why Embrace a Circular Economy?

The impact of a circular economy on the planet will be significant. However, nations and businesses must embrace sustainable business practices now, including the elimination of plastic waste.

Some enterprise companies have started the push by pledging plastic output reduction and better recycling efforts. However, greener practices are possible for all companies, regardless of size. Plus, the circular economy can lead to countless business opportunities for any forward thinker.

Is This New Approach Financially Viable?

The World Economic Forum estimates at least $4.5 trillion is up for grabs as the world moves toward more sustainable practices, products, and business models.

According to the UN, this revenue may come from replacing conventional plastics with natural materials, creating new bio-polymers, or by utilizing alternative technologies. They concluded corporations must now include sustainability in their business models, including addressing plastic waste.

Their economic analysis found that addressing the causes of plastic pollution, rather than the symptoms could lead to a 10.3% savings in direct costs of the plastics life cycle. Those savings increase to 20.3% when factoring in indirect costs. Obviously, eliminating or reducing plastic waste can be financially beneficial.

Science-Based Roadmap Towards Eliminating Plastic Waste

Unfortunately, most companies and nations do not have an all-encompassing science-based roadmap to ensure they can drastically reduce their plastic waste. It is a complex process that must consider technical, social, environmental, and economic constraints to guarantee effective, rapid change.

Furthermore, eliminating plastic waste may require a variety of solutions within all levels of an organisation. New delivery models to reduce plastic usage, substituting plastic for natural materials, improving mechanical and chemical recycling efforts, converting plastics to other useful materials, and managing plastics more effectively are just a few considerations.

Organisations that adopt new solutions quickly have a distinct advantage. They not only help themselves, but are also perfectly positioned to help others reduce their dependence on plastic.

Fortunately, EarlyBirds offers an innovation map to help everyone tackle plastic waste. It is updated every day and grows and changes as each new significant capability comes into play. Luckily, it can offer an organisation industry capability insights and help them secure innovators. It can also allow sovereign nations to develop and leverage partner countries. In both cases, this can speed the pace of technology adoption.

Connecting Business to Innovative Plastic Waste Solutions

Transitioning to more sustainable plastic practices is good for the planet, the people, and business. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to know where to start and how to connect to create success.

Organizations need to tap into innovative solutions to reduce or eliminate plastic waste as quickly as possible. Whether a business wants to redesign their packaging, switch to more sustainable materials, or analyse big data to meet sustainability goals, they need the latest innovations.

Fortunately, EarlyBirds offers three methods to network with startups, scaleups, and established innovative companies.

EarlyBirds Innovation Ecosystem

Our award-winning Innovation Ecosystem earned us the title of Global Open Innovation Platform of the Year 2023. We unite Innovators, Early Adopters, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to fuel rapid innovative adoption and business evolution.

Early Adopters are leaders or influencers in an organisation eager to identify new and disruptive technologies. They want to seize opportunities, solve business challenges, or create new products and services.

The Ecosystem has a data pool of 4.8 million global innovations that may already address your organization’s challenges. Alternatively, organizations can list their challenges and request solutions from innovators.

EarlyBirds Explorer Program

The Explorer Program is tailored towards those who need innovation as a service to supplement existing innovation programs, or to conduct innovation projects when required.

EarlyBirds Challenger Program

The Challenger Program focuses on a single organisational or technical challenge. It looks for the most relevant innovators that meet your organizational, technical, and risk requirements.

The program is run by an EarlyBirds Subject Matter Expert who identifies your key issues. The SME then searches the data pool to identify and curate options for further evaluation. The most suitable option is chosen and the SME drafts a roadmap of next steps, POC, trial, or implementation.


EarlyBirds offers efficient, organized, and automated innovation processes. Let us help you streamline workflows and enable cross-functional teams to ensure your organisation can discover, assess, and implement new technologies, seamlessly.

Your organisation can tackle plastic waste issues head on. Overcome technological gaps, understand industry trends, and connect with the right innovators and experts to create a capability edge now.

If you’re interested in exploring the business possibilities, please register at https://earlybirds.io/, or contact us to discuss your needs. We’ve helped the Public Sector, Food Industry, Retail, Operations & Maintenance, Manufacturing, Finance & Insurance, Energy, Education, Cybersecurity, and others.