Abu Dhabi launches Rebound exchange to reduce plastic pollution

The company’s launch follows a concerted effort across the UAE to tackle plastic consumption and pollution. Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi introduced a ban on single-use plastic bags in the emirate, and Dubai imposed a 25-fill tariff on single-use plastic bags. Ajman is expected to ban single-use plastic bags in 2023 and Sharjah in 2024.

Plastic pollution is a visible environmental threat today, and we aim to be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Plastic itself is a versatile and useful material, and the problem arises [when we cannot manage] its waste, leading to leaks and pollution. It is telling that there is expected to be more plastic in the sea by 2050 than fish,” said Al Mansoori.

“[With that being said,] plastic is being used in a variety of innovative ways today, with companies in Germany and Norway making furniture from recycled plastic. Due to market fragmentation so far, there has been no global market circularity and sellers often do not know where they can source quality recycled plastic. This is the gap we want to bridge,” Al Mansoori said.

With the global plastics market expected to reach $46.6 billion ($171.1 billion) by 2025, Rebound expects to become a trusted global link between buyers and sellers of recycled plastic.

After its official launch last month, the entity saw traders from six different regions, including some from the United Arab Emirates. Vendors use the recycled plastic to make t-shirts, as well as food-grade plastic products like bottles. Al Mansoori said some also work with bigger brands for packaging needs.

The company is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s main holding company, International Holding Company, and is backed by the Abu Dhabi Global Market.

Al Mansoori, who has a background as an Emirati civil servant, said the idea for the platform was born out of concerns about the accumulation of plastic and an analysis which showed a gap between producers and buyers of plastic. recycled. The fact that Rebound also performs quality assurance for the products it lists also helps build buyer confidence.

“We must close the carbon cycle by seeking the circularity of goods or even services that depend on fossil fuels or their substitutes. Plastic products and the pollution they cause must be addressed from a life cycle perspective, also taking on the inescapable responsibility to repair damaged ecosystems and species. Rebound’s digital solution is an example of how to effectively accelerate the implementation of a global circular economy and international development through sustainable trade,” said Dr Rodolfo Lacy, Director of Climate Action and Environment for Latin America and OECD Special Envoy to the United Nations. .

During the official launch, Al Mansoori also demonstrated the exchange interface, including the type of information included by traders.

“After being sorted and cleaned, the plastic can be shredded into flakes or melted down to form pellets that can be made into new products. The polymer analysts and chemists working with Rebound help ensure the quality of these materials,” she said. The world produces nearly 400 million tonnes of plastic every year, and experts highlighted the urgent need to ensure reuse when launching Rebound.

Bryce K. Locke