One of the greatest barriers to the circular economy is the frequency, stability, volume and quality of waste streams that would be used for inputs. This platform allows circular economy solution providers to aggregate waste streams across a range of suppliers, as well as get a sense for what is available on the market, which could influence process design.
Some questions remain to be answered once the marketplace begins operation. What if there is no market for your hazardous materials? Who will offer the logistics and who will pay for them? High demand for one material, like scrap steel could allow business to profit from reselling their waste. That could encourage inefficiencies in production and the increased use of non-recyclable natural resources like water. This solution also does not address the issue of household waste streams, including plastics and food, which are some of the more pressing circular economy issues to solve.
Ultimately, it’s a promising signal of a zero-waste future, enabling more sustainable business, job creation and profitability through greater efficiency in the US domestic market. At scale, it could lead to large scale transformation of how we do business and create whole new inter-relationships between industries.
Daniel Kietzer (4 April 2017) “Ohio EPA announces launch of new online materials marketplace.” Available at http://materialsmarketplace.org/news/2017/4/4/ohio-epa-announces-launch-...
Ohio Materials Marketplace: https://ohio.materialsmarketplace.org/how-it-works/