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Comment Sustainability

BASF invests in Oceanworks, a sustainable plastic sourcing platform

By Mary Page Bailey |

BASF Venture Capital GmbH (BVC), the corporate venture company of BASF Group, announced a strategic investment in Oceanworks, a sustainable plastic solutions provider that brings traceability and transparency through digitalization to recycled plastics. Oceanworks is based in the U.S. and offers a powerful platform for brands looking to reliably secure high-quality sources of ocean, ocean-bound, and averted PCR plastic (Post-consumer recycled products are made from recycled plastic and discarded materials.). For BVC this investment underlines BASF’s commitment to developing sustainable solutions to raise the transformation towards a circular economy to a new level. 

Plastics are an integral part of everyday life. But too much plastic too often ends up in the sea after its intended use. The responsible handling of plastic waste is therefore critical. One aspect of this is recycling: more and more companies aim for higher recycled content rates in their products and need new trusted sources of recycled plastics.

Oceanworks, with its global marketplace for recycled plastic materials and products offers a sophisticated solution. The young company makes it easy for buyers to source recycled plastics likely to add to the 11 million tons of plastic flowing into the ocean each year. Digitized blockchain-based traceability, material quality assurance, global logistics and marketing support are part of Oceanworks’ offer for its customers and their partners.

BASF Venture Capital’s investment comes as a part of Oceanworks Series Seed financing, enabling the company to accelerate the development of its sourcing engine and track-and-trace verification for recycled ocean plastic. The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the investment.

“Oceanworks’ traceability tools add real value to reducing plastic waste.” said Markus Solibieda, Managing Director of BASF Venture Capital. “With this investment and the collaboration with Oceanworks, we support BASF’s goal of providing its customers with sustainable solutions to further improve the production, use and recycling of plastics.”

One example of BASF’s commitment to reducing plastic waste in the environment is the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW). BASF supports the AEPW as a co-founding member since a collaborative effort of companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as civil society is necessary to address the global challenge of mismanaged plastic waste.

“Plastic waste in the environment is a huge global challenge, and no one can tackle this alone. We need many different solutions and actors such as industry, politics and civil society working together. This is one of the reasons why BASF co-founded the Alliance to End Plastic Waste in 2019. To protect our planet’s resources, we need to transform the way we live and do business. Oceanworks is a great addition to achieve our ambitious targets,” said Dr. Martin Kayser, Senior Vice President Corporate Projects at BASF.

BASF and Oceanworks are now examining how they can join forces to promote the development of technologies that accelerate plastics recycling and bring these new traceable ocean plastic materials to global customers.

“Oceanworks is excited to partner with BASF to propel the growth of our new business model for responsible plastic sourcing backed by real-time, digitized shore-to-shelf traceability,” said Vanessa Coleman, CEO Oceanworks. “We look forward to accelerating the reclamation of ocean plastic waste to fuel the circular economy.”

 

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