Recycling unrecyclable plastic waste

Upcycling unrecyclable plastic from city waste into virgin materials for 3D printing and advanced manufacturing

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Eligibility Criteria:

  • Yes, I fulfill all the eligibility criteria

First Name

Miranda

Last Name

Wang

Email

miranda@biocellection.com

Phone Number

+14088025990

Gender

  • Woman

What is the Name of Your Organization?

BioCellection Inc

What is The Mission of Your Organization?

Globally, only 9% of the 340M+ tons of plastics produced annually are recycled; the rest is incinerated, landfilled, or exported to developing nations where they often enter marine habitats. So little plastic is being recycled because existing recycling technologies are not profitable for turning dirty post-consumer packaging plastics into new materials. We turn unrecyclable polyethylene plastic packaging waste into sustainable chemicals and engineering plastics for advanced manufacturing.

What is The Month and Year of The Founding of Your Venture?

May 2015

What is Your Organization's Website URL (optional)

https://www.biocellection.com

What is The First and Last Name of Your Organization's Representative for The Challenge?

Miranda Wang

What is Their Organizational Role/Title?

CEO & Cofounder

Project Stage: Select the Description Below That Best Applies to Your Organization

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

Please Select Your Organization's Focus Track (Select all That Apply)

  • Built Environment
  • Sustainable Economies
  • Food, Water, & Waste
  • Public Health & Safety

Please Select Which of The Following Types of Innovations Best Characterize Your Work (Select all That Apply)

  • Product innovation (Introduction of a good or service or improvements made to existing products)
  • Process innovation (execution of a new or considerably improved production or delivery method)

Please Upload Your Organizational Pitch Deck or Video

Slide deck sent to Marc Carr. New video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXqLlSf7xkA Video 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9UA91lmzy0 Video 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu4HR58epRE Lab prototype: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9nj49DrXWc Industrial prototype: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlZzhRNoDBo

Help Us Support Diversity! Which of the following categories do you identify with (Optional)?  

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani)

Help Us Support Diversity! Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities (optional)?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

Please email proof of incorporation to Challenge Manager- Marc Carr (mcarr@ashoka.org) (for example, a certificate of incorporation, copy of your business license, etc.).

  • Uploaded

We would like insight into the financial and operational health of your organization. Therefore, please send at least one of the financial documents below to Challenge Manager Marc Carr (mcarr@ashoka.org)

  • Uploaded

Why is the problem that your organization is solving important to you and your co-founders/team?

My cofounder Jeanny Yao and I believe that creating a market-driven solution to solve the plastic problem is important because it's become clear that for humans to continue living on this planet, we cannot continue polluting at the rate we are today. By 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans. We feel personally responsible for this problem because over the past 10 years of innovating recycling solutions, we've finally created a technology that is scalable and sustainable. We want to take on the challenge and restore the optimism we should feel toward the future.

Please provide 1-2 examples of your product/organization making an impact on a city.

Pilot with the City of San José: http://files.constantcontact.com/7a210436601/5fce5967-241c-494c-9de2-ae9849930587.pdf https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/05/28/recycling-pilot-program-with-local-start-up-in-final-phase/ Recycling service provided to construction firm HDC: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7P6674F97vyY0Q1dG5VaUZVUFhEemoxMkprUjhwV3hyN0Jn/view?usp=sharing

Fast forward 15-20 years. What does your organization look like? What is the impact that it's had on society?

In 15-20 years, we expect to be in the US, China, and Southeast Asia and scaled to an industrial scale of 300+ MT/day of recycling capacity, operating 20 different plants. This is approximately 120,000MT per year of chemical production per facility. To reach this scale, we will be partnered with many major chemical companies who will handle the day-to-day manufacturing as a joint venture (operating partner). The total environmental impact would be 2 million MT/year of Plastic recycling and up to 48 million MT/year of CO2e reduction.

What differentiates your organization? What makes it so that you can drive a bigger and better benefit to society than other organizations in this space?

1. We are not downcycling. Other recycling companies mechanically transform plastic waste into a material/ product or they make fuels. These products cannot compete in performance against virgin materials and products, and fuels contribute the same amount of CO2 as incineration. BioCellection actually molecularly recycles the plastic waste and upcycles it into virgin-quality engineering plastics. 2. We have much greater profit margins because our products are much more valuable. This allows us to grow faster and create markets for plastic waste and hire trash pickers to clean up pollution.

What is the key barrier today to your organization unlocking the maximum amount of impact on society?

1. product development is challenging - making engineering plastics from chemical intermediates is technically challenging, especially with limited industry knowledge. We're hiring more veterans from polymer companies like BASF to accelerate our R&D. 2. Funding - building and operating the demo unit will cost $3M. We will need to raise this money for a system prototype at a pre-profit scale.

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