Who We Are
The Circulate Initiative is a non-profit organization established in 2018 to solve the ocean plastic pollution challenge and build circular and equitable economies across emerging markets.
An estimated 140 million tonnes of plastic waste has accumulated in the world’s oceans and rivers. In the absence of needed interventions, plastic waste entering the ocean annually could nearly triple by 2040, reaching 29 million tonnes. However, research shows that an 80% reduction of ocean plastic leakage is possible by 2040 through the use of existing technologies if we combine upstream and downstream solutions to achieve system change.
Early market research by investment firm Circulate Capital also highlighted the need to improve access to the right tools and knowledge to guide decision-making and investment in waste management and plastic recycling, and to strengthen the pipeline of investment-ready solutions. Recognizing that no entrepreneur succeeds in a vacuum, the research also pointed to the need to ensure enabling conditions - including public policies, corporate commitments, consumer engagement and strong science and data - are in place.
Established in 2018 with the support of Circulate Capital, The Circulate Initiative is working to fill these market gaps and address systemic barriers in the plastics circular economy.
The Circulate Initiative is a U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) organization.
We believe that preventing plastic waste leakage into the ocean and advancing circularity across South and Southeast Asia require a focused and systemic response.
The Circulate Initiative delivers cutting-edge research and builds high-impact programs and partnerships to address system-level barriers in the circular economy and drive collective action with corporations, investors and policymakers.
2022 Annual Report
2022 marked a year of milestones and achievements for The Circulate Initiative, building on our momentum to develop new research and tools, and scale programs focused on addressing the ocean plastic pollution challenge.
Working closely with our partners, we provided greater transparency on the financing of the plastics circular economy, facilitated better understanding of local recycling supply chains and advanced efforts to embed inclusivity within the ecosystem.
Learn more in our 2022 Annual Report.
Ariel is Managing Director, Asia at Forum for the Future, an international sustainability non-profit with deep expertise in designing and delivering change programmes based on the principles of systems change. Current programs focus on the transition to just and regenerative solutions in food, energy, textiles, and natural climate solutions in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Previously, Ariel was the Sustainable Business lead at Helsinki Group in New York, a collaborative innovation firm that helped organisations build their capacity for change and transformation.
Jeep is a Partner of MrPink VC, an impact venture fund targeting South American entrepreneurs. She recently founded SeaSky Lab, a project that bridges knowledge and resources from Silicon Valley to Asia for tech entrepreneurs.
An advisor to several incubation programs, she is UC Berkeley Skydeck’s lead ambassador to 48 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and a guest lecturer in the Sustainable and Impact Finance Group at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
For 20 years, Michael has worked with companies to solve business challenges, including sustainability.
Over this time, Michael has been a trusted advisor to senior executives, managed organizations and teams, driven change from within companies, led research and authored reports, and facilitated multi-stakeholder collaborations.
Rob has played a key role in the establishment of The Circulate Initiative and serves as a Board Member.
He is the Founder and CEO of Circulate Capital, an investment management firm dedicated to financing companies, projects, and infrastructure in South and Southeast Asia that prevent the flow of plastic waste into the world’s ocean and advance the circular economy.
Director of Programs
Annerieke is responsible for driving impact for The Circulate Initiative, its programs and our other strategic partnerships. She ensures TCI and its partners focus on addressing the system gaps to prevent plastic leakage and advance an inclusive, circular economy.
With more than 15 years of experience working with businesses and governments, Annerieke previously led waste management projects in Indonesia.
Senior Policy Advisor
Chever has been a supporter and partner of the Circulate Initiative since its creation. Currently, she provides strategic advice and policy support across The Circulate Initiative’s portfolio of existing and planned programs.
Previously, Chever served as Director of Plastics Policy and Finance at Ocean Conservancy. She led work on multiple publications and oversaw a portfolio that included the Trash Free Seas Alliance, Urban Ocean, projects in Vietnam and Mexico, and Ocean Conservancy’s engagement in various international plastics fora.
As a Research Analyst, Devi is responsible for scoping and delivering research projects with the Insights team.
Prior to joining The Circulate Initiative, Devi was a Corporate Finance Senior Associate in PwC Indonesia Advisory, assisting with market and industry research, supporting the clients in profiling companies as targets and investors.
Impact and Insights
In her role, Ellen is responsible for driving impact and insights for The Circulate Initiative, its flagship program The Incubation Network, and our other strategic partnerships.
Ellen ensures TCI and its partners connect with the data and learning they need to inform strategies that prevent plastic leakage and advance an inclusive, circular economy. Ellen also chairs TCI’s Impact Metrics Working Group and serves as Chief Impact Officer at Circulate Capital.
As a Research Analyst, Juline scopes and researches on diverse circularity linked themes and supports the team on the management of projects.
Juline enjoys the process of data synthesis and is motivated by how data can be used to improve decision-making and drive action. She has co-authored various reports in the sustainability and communications domains.
Director of Operations and Strategy
Khunapong leads The Circulate Initiative's operations and strategies. These include financial management, organizational development, governance, fundraising, and operational systems. His work ensures the organization operates efficiently and grows sustainably.
Recognized as a Regional Leader in Southeast Asia, Khunapong was selected as a 2022 Global Australian Sustainability Award Finalist and 2019 inaugural Community & Advocacy winner of the 40 Under 40: Most Influential Asian-Australian Awards. He has advised 30 organizations to build and scale new initiatives across five geographies.
Madhu is The Circulate Initiative's Responsible Sourcing Program Manager, leading our multi-year program focused on ensuring the responsible sourcing of recycled plastics from emerging markets.
With a background in managing programs pursuing climate change research and implementation, she has worked closely with grassroots organizations, social enterprises and government partners on the environmental and political facets of climate change.
Nurul Aisyah Suwandi
Aisyah is responsible for scoping and executing research projects in The Circulate Initiative’s Insights team, across a wide range of circularity-related themes, alongside research partners and partner organisations.
With experience in executing research projects related to solid waste management and material flows on post-consumer plastic packaging, Aisyah is keen on capitalising multi-stakeholder collaboration for a holistic approach in tackling ocean plastic pollution.
Shamina leads The Circulate Initiative's communications strategy and stakeholder engagement program. She also supports partner organizations, Circulate Capital and SecondMuse, with joint communications and outreach initiatives, including the flagship program The Incubation Network.
Shamina is passionate about environmental and social impact causes, particularly ocean environment protection, climate change action and gender empowerment.
Umesh is Circulate Initiative’s Research Director. In this role, he plans and executes Circulate Initiative’s research strategy across diverse circularity linked themes and also supports partner organisations on their research and strategy development.
He is responsible for scoping and managing research projects and ensuring organisation-wide access to data and insights. Umesh is passionate about leveraging the power of data and insights to produce impactful outcomes.
Partner With Us
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. If you would like to be involved, please get in touch.