On Sept. 5, Rebound Plastic Exchange, a subsidiary of International Holding Company (ADX: IHC), launched a global business-to-business (B2B) digital trading platform for recycled plastics. “The platform has been in the works for several years,” shares Maryam Al Mansoori, General Manager at Rebound Plastic Exchange, who along with Senior Consultant, Lawrence Black, expressed pride in seeing their work come to fruition.
Today, Rebound Plastic Exchange boasts a growing portfolio of organizations from over 12 countries, in specialized trades of renewable sources of food grade, injection molders, and thermoformers. Buyers on the platform have since used the recycled plastic to manufacture packaging, consumer, and food-grade products such as bottles and much more.
To help get ISRI members up to speed on Rebound Plastic Exchange, Scrap News spoke with Al Mansoori and Black about how Rebound Plastic Exchange can act as a key actor in the global race to circularity.
What does Rebound Plastic Exchange entail and how does it work?
Al Mansoori: Rebound Plastic Exchange is the first quality-assured global trading platform for recycled plastics. We built our renewable sourcing so that global buyers and sellers can join, test and purchase quality assured material from our platform. We are focused only on recycled plastics allowing for the trade of bales, flakes, and pellets.
Rebound Plastic Exchange was born out of the desire to be part of the solution to reducing plastic pollution. Research shows that there is an annual gap of at least 6.3 million metric tons of recycled plastic material, which is approximately the size of 19 Empire State buildings. We started working on Rebound Plastic Exchange in September 2020 with a group of global experts from different backgrounds including supply chain, environment, regulation, financial sector, and many more. Our main goal is to keep plastics within our economy and out of the environment, achieving circularity.
Buyers and sellers who wish to use the platform must register and become members of Rebound Plastic Exchange. Members are vetted based on our standards and policies, and sellers are further certified by our third-party inspectors. These checks ensure that members follow global policies and meet the international requirements to allow them to list materials in an environmentally sound manner.
Buyers undergo a [Know Your Business] check to ensure they have the financial eligibility to purchase recycled plastics. We have set these standards to minimize the risks for our members, following each product goes through laboratory tests before being traded.
How will Rebound Plastic Exchange be a beneficial tool for ISRI members and recyclers who deal in recycled plastics?
Black: We’re excited that ISRI represents all recycled commodities, including plastics. We believe Rebound will greatly support ISRI’s efforts in North America and across the globe. We have created a marketplace for companies to trade in quality-assured plastics, unlocking the world’s plastics. We equip them with this framework and platform to facilitate the exchange and trade of plastics in a transparent manner.
The trade of recycled plastics as raw material must adhere to governments as they play a role in regulations and in conforming to the 2019 Basel Convention amendments. We formed our procedure and methods to comply with those amendments. We have worked with technical and regulatory experts to tailor our specifications and trading processes accordingly, so ISRI members can rest assured that their trade is conducted smoothly.
According to your website, Rebound Plastic Exchange creates new economic opportunities for most of the world’s communities that don’t have domestic capacity to process or use plastic raw material in their own manufacturing levels. Can you speak to that?
Black: Many countries don’t have adequate capacity to convert raw plastic into new, usable material. Reason for that is because even if you collect the material, where do you then sell it? Many people don’t know how to move beyond their own markets and those markets don’t often have the bandwidth to buy the material because they simply don’t hold the processing capabilities. That’s where Rebound Plastic Exchange comes in. On our platform, a country that focuses on collection can sell to buyers globally.
Rebound Plastic Exchange unlocks the global plastics marketplace. Since launching, we’ve already seen countries move materials outside of their borders regionally or globally and we’re proud of that.
The first 50 companies that subscribe to RPX will have the opportunity to be fully evaluated for free, for their ability to conform to international standards. For those who don’t conform, our process highlights how they may achieve those standards. We’re proactively working with materials recovery facilities (MRFs), government agencies and investment firms to provide insight on how they can meet international standards. We’re providing a service as well as the education and knowledge. We’re helping plastics become a high quality, renewable, and sustainable material.
Al Mansoori: Plastics are a valuable commodity that’s versatile and useful. It’s in almost any item we touch. If we better enhance our waste management practices and recycling habits on an individual level, then globally we can have a huge impact. The goal with Rebound Plastic Exchange is to move plastics in a regulatory compliant, non-hazardous manner where neighboring countries can explore different economic opportunities.
Right now, there’s a lot of material that isn’t being captured because it hasn’t been given the monetary value it deserves. A global marketplace that invites businesses to list material will encourage investors to uplift, enhance, and boost capacity of local communities, which, in turn, will have global economic effects on the supply chain.
Where do you want to see Rebound in the next three to five years?
Al Mansoori: We’re excited to see what the UNEA 5.2 treaty will highlight in the next 3–5 years to address the lifecycle of plastic pollution in the environment.
By then, we hope to have established credibility and trust with businesses across the globe and help big brands source the raw material they need in a consistent manner. We want to establish strategic partnerships that will enhance plastic recycling as an industry so it’s more attractive for investors and be part of the change in giving this sector more credibility and weight. From talking with interested parties, government bodies and membership associations like ISRI, we realize the industry needs infrastructure, talent, and capacity building—all of which we’re hoping to facilitate. We want to offer support services that reflect on the quality of plastics being traded on our exchange.
Black: We want to be an educational resource and a facilitating resource for ISRI to achieve global trade. If we want to increase plastic recycling rates, globalization is a path to accomplish that goal.
Rebound is excited to be an ISRI member as it represents all high quality, renewable, sustainable materials, and recyclers on a global scale. We want to help ISRI attract more plastics recyclers. New plastics recyclers who join ISRI will get all the benefits the association offers and be part of a wider community for plastics recycling. ISRI has done a great job in the metals recycling space, and we want to be part of that method for recycled plastics.
Photo Courtesy of Rebound Plastic Exchange.