Our Mission:

Solve the ocean plastic pollution challenge and advance inclusive and circular economies

What We Do

The Circulate Initiative supports the incubation of circular, inclusive and investible waste management and recycling systems and generates insights that accelerate investment and scale.


The Circulate Initiative’s Annual Report 2020

The Circulate Initiative has released its 2020 Annual Report providing an update on its full year progress, accomplishments and outlook for 2021. Despite the challenges of 2020, we continued to support innovators to source, support and scale effective solutions that end plastic leakage into the ocean, especially through the work of The Incubation Network and Urban Ocean.  


We also leveraged our expertise and network of strategic partners to develop insights on the emerging landscape of plastics claims and credits to help brands, investors and others better evaluate the impact potential and role of these new schemes in the fight to prevent plastic leakage into the environment.


The Issue

There is an estimated 150 million tons of plastic waste in the ocean today, with another 8 million tons added annually. Research by Ocean Conservancy estimates that a 45% reduction in plastic leakage is possible by investing in waste collection and recycling systems in just 5 countries in Asia. 

However, several factors are hindering the development of inclusive, sustainable and investible waste management and recycling supply chains in South and Southeast Asia: 

  • Lack of capital

  • Shortage of investible ventures 

  • Underdeveloped value chains 

  • Complex policy and regulatory frameworks 

  • Lack of public awareness and participation


The ecosystem of actors working to address this problem needs access to better knowledge and tools to guide decision-making and investment. The Circulate Initiative is working to fill this gap through the incubation of investible and inclusive solutions, and the generation of insights that help to end the plastic pollution crisis and to advance the circular economy.

The Approach

Incubate, Measure and Amplify

The Circulate Initiative brings together a highly collaborative community of innovators, investors, partners and programs to develop solutions and knowledge that reduce plastic pollution and advance inclusive and circular economies.

We do this in two main ways:


  • Incubation: Alongside expert partners from our community, we support innovators in emerging countries to source, support and scale effective solutions that end plastic leakage into the ocean. Through our incubation programs, we encourage more and better businesses to get involved in the circular economy, to make the sector more attractive for investment and ultimately build a pipeline of investible solutions.

  • Insights: We also leverage our expertise and network of strategic partners to develop insights and tools that help identify gaps to solving the plastic pollution problem, prioritize strategies, set baselines and targets, and measure the success of solutions. Our relationships from across industries and geographies allows us to form a unique viewpoint on the implementation of inclusive and effective solutions on the ground and to amplify what works so stakeholders can make better decisions about engaging in the sector.


Our Collaborators

GRCN white.png

Jenna Jambeck, PH.D.

GAA Distinguished Professor

in Environmental Engineering

University of Georgia

College of Engineering


William McDonough

Chief Executive

McDonough Innovation

Our Supporters