rePurpose Global’s Plastic Action Coalition

We often talk about being a coalition: part of a movement to fight plastic pollution. But what does that really mean? At rePurpose Global we have recovered over 18 million kilograms of nature-bound plastic to date but we don't achieve this alone. We partner with Purposeful brands and their employees; Waste innovators and waste workers; Industry leaders and international bodies; and Conscious individuals. Read on to find out more about our Plastic Action Coalition.

rePurpose Global's Plastic Action Coalition

We often talk about being a coalition: part of a movement to fight plastic pollution. But what does that really mean?

At rePurpose Global we have recovered over 18 million kilograms of nature-bound plastic to date (March 2023), but we don’t achieve this alone.

In this article we will run through a quick introduction to our coalition of impact creators and enablers. Coalition partners roughly fall into one of four camps:

  1. Purposeful brands and their employees
  2. Waste innovators and waste workers
  3. Industry leaders and international bodies
  4. Conscious individuals

Purposeful brands and their employees

The first group to acknowledge are our brand partners. These are purpose-driven businesses taking impactful environmental action.

Working in partnership with rePurpose Global, these brands are the ones financing the verified plastic recovery. An estimated $600 billion is required to overhaul global waste management systems in a way that protects oceans from plastic pollution, and brands are voluntarily helping to close some of this finance gap.

The support from brands goes towards scaling up of operations and the development of waste management infrastructure. Without this action from businesses, the millions of kilograms of plastic we have recovered would have been left to pollute ecosystems in our natural environment and oceans.

We work with over 250 brands, of all sizes, to take action on plastic waste. These include household names such as Grove Collaborative, Thrive Market, Johnson and Johnson, and the Clorox Company, and lots of smaller challenger brands – often with strong environmental credentials.

Alexandra Bede in her Grove Collaborative ‘Beyond Plastic 2025’ T-shirt, meeting waste workers at rePurpose Global project Hara Kal in Kerala, India

For example we have a multi-year partnership with international personal care product company, Burt’s Bees. Together we are preventing the leakage of ocean-bound plastic by developing critical recycling infrastructure in coastal communities. This is part of their Net Zero Plastic To Nature program, which also includes moving toward a target of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.

Some of the media coverage of the Burt's Bees and rePurpose Global partnership

For example we have a multi-year partnership with international personal care product company, Burt’s Bees. Together we are preventing the leakage of ocean-bound plastic by developing critical recycling infrastructure in coastal communities. This is part of their Net Zero Plastic To Nature program, which also includes moving toward a target of 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.

"Plastic waste is a huge challenge for our industry and the planet, and it demands true collaboration to tackle it. Not only does this partnership stop plastic from leaking into the ocean, but it also creates crucial opportunities to economically empower waste workers and their communities."  Matt Kopac, Associate Director of Sustainability, Burt's Bees 

We also work with Evolve Organic Beauty, an ethical beauty brand based in the UK. They have a Plastic Negative certification, and work with rePurpose Global to fund plastic recovery in India. This is a key strand of their brand proposition that sits alongside their journey to net zero carbon, zero waste, their B Corp certification, and their efforts to protect biodiversity.

Evolve Beauty's Plastic Negative certification is covered in Elle Magazine, and on the their website
"I believe that it is time to evolve beauty and our partnership with rePurpose Global enables us to take another step towards doing just that. Whilst we are always working towards becoming a more sustainable business, we believe that action always starts now, and becoming plastic negative means that we can have a positive impact on the planet immediately." Laura Rudoe, Founder & CEO, Evolve Organic Beauty

Plastic recovery generates verified and quantifiable impact: brands have the data to show how much nature-bound plastic recovery they are responsible for, as well as stories of social impact they are enabling. There are many potential applications of this for brands, including in sustainability and ESG reporting; or to meet voluntary or impending regulatory commitments. Plastic recovery can even be converted into recognized Plastic Credits, and customer engagement can be harnessed through one of rePurpose Global’s flagship certifications

All rePurpose Global brand partners have access to our expert teams, and we supply images, videos, and stories of the impact they are enabling, to support brand communication.

We also have solutions for brand partners beyond plastic recovery, and have a suite of plastic action solutions that help brands tackle their plastic impact from all angles. This includes proprietary, industry-leading tools to measure the plastic footprint of products – verifying plastic disclosure and providing insights to guide sustainability actions. We also work with brands to reduce virgin plastic consumption and build a more circular business, including supply of ethically-sourced PCR (recycled) plastic.

We highly value employee engagement too. It’s much more impactful if the whole team understands what plastic action is all about, and the kind of impact that the brand is responsible for enabling. To support this we have a number of tools, from webinars, workshops, and lunch-and-learn sessions, to our very own ‘Plastic Action World Council’ role play game.

We can even enable representatives from brands to visit the impact projects. Those that have had the opportunity have found it to be a valuable and transformative experience. Last year we ran our first Plastic Reality Project, which invited brand partners and industry leaders to come together to experience the challenges and solutions first-hand, and meet the people behind our fight against plastic pollution.

Salma Fotovat, Co-Founder of Riverside Natural Foods was one of those who attended. Riverside Natural Foods’ products are certified Plastic Neutral with rePurpose Global, and in 2021 were responsible for nearly 300 tons of plastic waste being recovered and diverted from nature.

“You can read about [plastic waste], you can see statistics and numbers and get alarmed – absolutely. But this is a whole other level of reality, and the magnitude of it is very intense… I was able to more clearly see both the environmental and social need to make an impact. It was great to meet so many inspiring and compassionate leaders who care so much. The connections I've made will be long lasting!” Salma Fotovat, Co-Founder, Riverside Natural Foods
Salma Fotovat from Riverside Natural Foods, and Nicolette Stosur-Bassett from rePurpose Global, walk side-by-side through a polluted river bed near Tambaram, Tamil Nadu

At rePurpose Global we are continuing our work to build partnerships with brands, opportunities for employee engagement, and foster a community of like-minded businesses.

If you are a purposeful business and interested in taking action on plastic, we'd be very happy to discuss any of this with you. Please get in touch to explore next steps for your brand.

Waste innovators and waste workers

We partner with leading waste collection, recycling, and recovery organizations to combat plastic pollution around the world. We work directly with partners to create and develop plastic collection and recovery projects. We support the local partners to scale-up operations, finance infrastructure development, and provide training, equipment, and support for waste workers and their communities.

One such example is our partnership in Java, Indonesia with Waste4Change. Waste4Change is a responsible waste management provider and our partnership with them provides end-to-end plastic waste solutions in an area where it is much needed. Indonesia is the world’s largest contributor to ocean plastic pollution and only around 10% of plastics are recycled.

The rePurpose Global project Laut Yang Tenang works with existing networks of informal waste suppliers, and enhances local waste-bank conditions. The result is that we enable the collection and ethical recycling of thousands of kilograms of plastic bags.

We have so far partnered with innovative organizations like Waste4Change on 13 projects in 5 countries – though this may be as many as 20 projects by the end of 2023. These are primarily focused on the Global South where waste is most at risk of polluting the environment, though we are also onboarding a project in the USA.

We follow a rigorous vetting process to ensure that we work with waste organizations that are doing impactful work in the most ethical fashion. For example, our partners will obtain valid permits in compliance with the local regulations and maintain documentation for all operations. They will also ensure safe working conditions, fair payment, and ethical treatment of workers (including strict gender equality policies). We have more information on how we aim to maximize project benefits for workers and communities, and how we support compliance with our social safeguarding protocols here.

Below is a video of waste workers from project Hara Kal in Kerala, describing the change they have experienced from working with rePurpose Global and our partner in Kerala, Green Worms.

“In the past people didn’t take well to my work. They thought it was substandard, because I handle waste… I’m able to support my children’s education, and I want to achieve more. These accomplishments make me very happy with my work.” Reena, Waste Worker, rePurpose Global project Hara Kal

Industry leaders and international bodies

rePurpose Global works in a relatively new industry. An industry where impactful, verified plastic waste recovery is made accessible to brands. We have always been conscious that there needs to be standardization and alignment between our work and those of other plastic recovery solutions. This helps to achieve higher standards and drives greater understanding of the sector. This was the motivation behind us creating and publishing our plastic protocol and Impact Code.

We have been working with Verra (an internationally recognized standards body) to this end, and were a Plastic Standard Development Committee Member involved in developing the world’s first plastic credit standard, along with Veolia, Danone, Tetra Pak, and others.

We advocate for plastic recovery solutions and voluntary action to be acknowledged in national and international policies. With a UN Plastic Treaty around the corner, we have convened a Global Innovation Alliance which unites innovators and advocates for systems-change and positive policy developments to accelerate plastic action innovation and progress towards zero plastic pollution by 2040.

Individuals from rePurpose Global have also worked closely with policy development teams in the United States, India, Ghana, and Kenya to include empowering solutions as part of their portfolio of action.

Our efforts to collaborate and continue pushing the industry forward include rePurpose Global being a:

  • UNEP Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative Member
  • Prevent Waste Alliance Member
  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastic Economy Commitment Signatory
  • US Plastic Pact Signatory
  • Plastic Footprint Network Member
  • International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) Member
  • Verra Plastic Action Standard Development Committee Member
  • Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) Member
"rePurpose Global’s impact model accelerates the scale-up of solutions protecting our ocean from plastic waste." Daniela Fernandez, Co-Founder, SOA.
“It's almost paralyzing to see so much waste [being produced]... But seeing people who are confident enough to take on a challenge, and be willing to tackle it one piece of plastic at a time is really encouraging.” Ruth McLachlin, Specialist, World Economic Forum

Conscious individuals

Last but not least. We work with you: conscious individuals.

We are all in this together, and all have a role to play.

For a start, you can look out for rePurpose Global’s partner brands, knowing that a purchase will support a waste recovery project and help to fight plastic pollution. It is also possible to purchase plastic recovery directly, such as from Grove Collaborative’s Impact Shop where $5.49 recovers the equivalent of an individual’s monthly plastic footprint. (This is one of the Impact Shop's best sellers with over 35,000 purchases since the launch 18 months ago).

Speaking of footprints, you can also use our plastic footprint calculator to get a rough approximation of how much plastic you use in a year.

Plastic recovery is only part of the solution. We can all work on reducing our plastic use – reducing consumption, or purchasing products that are plastic-free or incorporate recycled content. We need to keep making sure that any recyclable plastics are segregated for recycling too, to support opportunities for recycling and circularity.

As conscious individuals, we can also advocate for change, influence our friends, and support policies that fight plastic pollution. This is also what being in rePurpose Global’s extended coalition looks like. Check out the Green Living section of our blog for some inspiration.

The blog wouldn't be complete without acknowledging our talented and passionate team of conscious individuals at rePurpose Global. Our employees hold the coalition together and we would welcome anyone with the skills and motivation to contribute to the cause in a professional setting, to monitor the latest job openings on our careers page.

Members of the rePurpose Global team on a visit to an impact project in India.
“When you work with a group of people that exude compassion, enthusiasm, commitment, and a real sense of wanting to make a difference, you're inspired to come to work every day with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.” Joel Fernandes, Director of Operations, rePurpose Global
The rePurpose Global team retreat in 2021

To join our coalition or for more information, please see our website at
To follow and support our work, follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, or sign up to our newsletter here. Some of our past newsletters – including a recent one on ‘Crypto for Climate’ are available on our ’Purpose Rising’ blog.

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