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Programs & Partnerships

We work with an extensive ecosystem of global, regional and local partners to develop and implement new programs that address systemic barriers in the plastics circular economy. Our selected programs address distinct challenges in the sector, from building robust and responsible supply chains, to advancing circularity in urban cities.

Responsible Sourcing Initiative

Informal waste workers are at the frontline of plastic waste management and recycling and often work in unsafe environments and face increased vulnerability.


As global brands set targets to increase recycled plastic content in their packaging and investment is funneled into the sector, there is an opportunity to advance equitable livelihoods for informal waste workers.


Our Responsible Sourcing Initiative will address the “how” for brands and recyclers seeking a measurable improvement of human rights for waste workers across the recycled plastic value chain.


Urban Ocean®

In June 2020, The Circulate Initiative, Ocean Conservancy and Global Resilient Cities Network launched Urban Ocean - an accelerator program for cities to champion circular economy principles, build awareness of ocean plastic pollution, and assess waste management systems.


The program supports cities to develop strategies and projects designed to address the interrelated challenges of ocean plastics and community resilience.

Urban Ocean COLOR.PNG


NextWave Plastics is a member-led, collaborative and open-source initiative of leading multinational companies convened by The Circulate Initiative and co-founded and amplified by Lonely Whale.


Since 2017, 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 in alignment with UN SDG 14.1.


The Incubation Network

The Incubation Network was a partnership between The Circulate Initiative and SecondMuse, that ran from 2019 - 2023. The program aimed to source, support, and scale holistic, innovative solutions to combat plastic pollution.  


Part of a highly collaborative community of innovators, investors, partners, and programs, The Incubation Network worked to tackle key barriers to addressing plastic leakage - including preparing start-ups and SMEs, many of which operate informally, to receive funding to scale.

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