NextWave Plastics and The Circulate Initiative Join Forces to Advance Industry Collaboration for Healthier Oceans
As NextWave Plastics celebrates 5 years, the consortium of multinational brands reaffirms commitment to keeping plastic out of the ocean through socially responsible ocean-bound plastic supply chains.
JUNE 5, 2023 – On the heels of its milestone 5-year anniversary, NextWave Plastics and The Circulate Initiative today announce a formal partnership to measurably reduce plastic pollution by advancing industry collaboration to build socially responsible, sustainable ocean-bound plastic supply chains. NextWave Plastics is a member-led, collaborative and open-source initiative of leading multinational companies founded by Lonely Whale and Dell Technologies in 2017. To date, NextWave members have collectively diverted 20,479 metric tonnes of plastic — the equivalent of 2.27 billion single-use plastic water bottles — from entering the waste stream, which is over 80% of its goal of diverting 25,000 metric tons by 2025.
“NextWave Plastics was critical in developing a new model of doing business in the face of a global plastics crisis; convening a member-led, collaborative consortium of multinational companies committed to investing in the development of socially responsible and circular supply chains,” remarked Michael Sadowski, Executive Director at The Circulate Initiative and lead for the NextWave Plastics consortium. “We now have the opportunity to integrate The Circulate Initiative’s technical expertise and network of innovators and international partners with the consortium to accelerate our collective goal of keeping plastic in the economy and out of the ocean. We are thrilled to collaborate with Lonely Whale and this innovative group of brands on this vital work, and are enthusiastic to advance NextWave’s goals and continue to raise awareness about the value of investing in ocean-bound plastic supply chains amongst business leaders.”
Looking ahead, NextWave will support member companies to increase and diversify their usage of ocean-bound plastics, identify use cases for hard-to-recycle plastics, and build upon its Framework for Socially Responsible Ocean-Bound Plastic Supply Chains, which provides a roadmap for brands and manufacturers to create circular supply chains that provide social responsibility for all workers through the point of collection. Moving forward, members will continue to collaborate to bring efficiencies to supplier engagement and due diligence, and will have the opportunity to engage in The Circulate Initiative’s Responsible Sourcing project.
In NextWave’s 6th year, The Circulate Initiative will also seek to expand and diversify NextWave membership, and today, we are pleased to welcome Polyvisions Inc, a premier specialized custom compounder turning polymers into material solutions, to the consortium. We encourage companies and brands from across industries that are interested in accelerating the movement to scale ocean-bound plastic recycling and integration, to visit www.nextwaveplastics.org.
“From the start, the mission of NextWave Plastics has been defined and driven by its members. I am inspired by these vocal leaders of innovation who have a deep commitment to social responsibility and who are showing up not only to create circular economies but also to share their blueprint with others,” said Emy Kane, Managing Director of Lonely Whale. “Bold corporate leadership is needed now more than ever and we are honored to have The Circulate Initiative at the helm of the consortium, offering their deep insights and expertise in improving material recovery and enhancing livelihoods and social protections across the plastic value chain. As NextWave’s ongoing storytelling partner, we look forward to amplifying the power of radical collaboration brought forth through the consortium.”
Since its founding in 2017 by Lonely Whale and Dell Technologies, NextWave member companies have convened to provide various types of plastics to use in products and packaging to keep them out of the ocean. NextWave Plastics has supported the launch of members’ new products made with ocean-bound plastic, including sustainable PC portfolios like Dell’s Latitude 5,000 and HP’s Elite Dragonfly; Herman Miller’s sustainable Aeron Chairs; Solgaard’s HomeBase Ecosystem; Trek Bicycle's sustainable bat cage, and more. In doing so, they have helped find new life for the equivalent of more than 2.27 billion single-use plastic water bottles.
“When we started NextWave Plastics five years ago, we knew we needed a collaborative, cross-industry partnership to make a meaningful impact,” said Oliver Campbell, Distinguished Engineer, sustainable packaging at Dell Technologies. “Today, we are a trusted community of dedicated individuals and companies who prioritize the future of our planet, our oceans and the communities impacted by our work. Our progress is a reflection of the cooperation, collaboration and creativity of our partnership. In this time, NextWave member companies have developed more than 330 products using recycled ocean-bound plastics and, in the process, have built a model that demonstrates how environmental impact can be reduced across industries at a commercial scale.”
NextWave Plastics aims to rewrite the rules of business as usual, combatting the projections that estimate annual ocean plastic waste will quadruple by 2040. Within this global challenge lies an immense opportunity for today’s corporate decision makers, making now the best time for companies to join the next wave of leadership towards socially responsible ocean-bound plastic supply chains.