Plastic exchange launches in Abu Dhabi

Published on September 12, 2022

Rebound, a subsidiary of International Holding Co. based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, has launched Rebound Plastic Exchange (RPX), a global business-to-business digital trading platform for recycled plastics.

As part of the launch, Rebound says world leaders from government, business and civil society gathered to discuss how trading plastics presents an untapped opportunity to enable global circularity and fill demand gaps while growing opportunities for investments.

Maryam Al Mansoori, general manager of Rebound, delivered the keynote, saying, “RPX was envisioned to bring trust and quality assurance amongst buyers and sellers. Our digital platform provides companies and nations with a vital benchmark for their capacity to adopt and trade quality-assured plastics, equip them with frameworks to facilitate exchange and highlight the tangible benefits of transparent plastic trading. Overall, the platform inherently complements governments’ commitments to the Basel Convention’s amendments on the trade of plastic and enhances the responsible participation in recyclable plastic trade.”

To ensure transparency and to facilitate cross-border trading, RPX says it will use specification sheets endorsed by U.K.-based RECOUP, a nonprofit organization that says it is committed to securing sustainable, circular and practical solutions for plastic resources in the U.K. and worldwide, that are tailored to each listing on the RPX B2B marketplace.

Stuart Foster, CEO of RECOUP, said, “We welcome Rebound’s extremely thorough plastic specification standards, essential to achieve quality which enables recycling to be done in an effective and ethical way and develop a universal standard for plastics to be traded on an international scale. These standards are extensive but easy to follow, and they promise to be a great start to ensure that material is compliant with shipment criteria such as the recent changes to the Basel Convention and EU shipping regulations.”

Foster added, “These specifications help to bridge the gap between the known limitations of recycling infrastructure and the need for responsible exports to achieve higher recycling rates and targets in both developed and developing markets.”

As the technical expert leading the development of material specification sheets for RPX, Edward Kosior, managing director of London-based consulting firm Nextek, said, “Unless current practices change, it is estimated that 108 million [metric tons] of plastic waste will be landfilled, dumped or openly burned in 2050, especially in under-developed and developing countries. There is clearly a growing imperative for plastic circularity, and with the increasing demand for high-quality recycled plastic feedstock, the key trading factors of quality, standardization, transparency and trust are paramount. With this backdrop, RPX has invested in a world-class certification protocol incorporating industry best practices for material specification. Buyers and sellers of feedstock can now transact with greater efficiency and peace of mind. We are leading the movement beyond an era of informal, closed-door material trading and towards a more integrated, efficient and quality-assured system.”

He added, “Worldwide, stakeholders are now facing huge pressure from investors and policymakers to ensure that we can shift plastics from regions that have inadequate recycling facilities to regions that are short of feedstock. In this way we address the two problems facing the planet of reducing plastic waste in areas plagued with abandoned plastics and creating high-quality recycled plastics that will be used in new packaging thereby reducing the need for virgin plastics.”

To this end, RPX says it will implement a passporting system for end-to-end digital certification.

Rebound and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) have joined forces to accelerate the mobilization of private capital toward low-carbon, environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient investments. Rebound and ADGM say they plan to further advance sustainable finance during Abu Dhabi Finance Week, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum and across the curricula of the School of Sustainable Finance.

Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Muhairi, CEO of ADGM Registration Authority, said, “Abu Dhabi is well on its way to becoming a hub of sustainable financial solutions. With the potential of facilitating the recycling of 5 million tons of plastics by 2025, Rebound stands at the core of such solutions. It will bring significant impacts to global business models and financial practices.”

He added, “As a financial center and a catalyst for growth, ADGM will continue to work with like-minded partners to advance the sustainability agenda to address the development and growth needs of our country and the wider region.”

Rebound has joined the panel of 73 public and private sector signatories to the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration. 

Rebound also says industry members in the Middle East, North America, Latin America, India, Southeast Asia and Europe already have subscribed to the RPX.

“Scaling up circular activities worldwide has now become a timely necessity,” said David Bourge, general manager, Veolia, Thailand. “Through trust and visibility, RPX is set on increasing the recycled volume of plastics, and we are proud to be part of this journey.”

Rodolfo Lacy, director for Climate Action and Environment for Latin America and special envoy to the United Nations from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said, “We need to close the carbon cycle again by seeking the circularity of goods and even services that depend on fossil fuels or their substitutes. … 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.”