The Startup That Fights Plastic Pollution ๐Ÿš€

If you translate the Norwegian word 'Jordisk' to English, you'll get the word 'Earthly'. The name is a metaphor to describe the responsibility we all have to take care of our shared home โ€“ Planet Earth. That was the underlying message and value that Rezowan Hossain wanted to manifest in his new business venture, which rose from the aches of his established travel businesses that all took a severe hit during the worldwide lockdowns in 2020. The pandemic made him reflect on the current state of the world and his place in it. As a seasoned entrepreneur, he wanted to contribute and innovate as a force of good.

March 2, 2021 ยท Jacques Nรธrbo

Together with his co-founder Wara Srjon Mazid, he created Jordisk because they recognized an immediate need to replace traditional single-use packaging based on fossil fuel plastics. Alternative products made of bagasse, bamboo, mycelium, leaves, bio-laminate, and plant-based plastic such as PLA already exist in the market, but a lack of consumer-awareness and inadequate distribution infrastructure slows down the adaptation. The transition is far too slow when you consider the huge problem plastic waste and pollution constitutes in the modern-day world.

The Plastic Nightmare ๐Ÿง›๐Ÿผโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Plastic pollution is the most widespread problem affecting the marine environment. It also threatens ocean health, food safety โ€“ and quality, human health, coastal tourism, and contributes to climate change. About 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations annually. Thatโ€™s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world. Plastic pollution has become one of the most prevalent environmental problems, as the increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the worldโ€™s capacity to deal with them.

Plastics made from fossil fuels are just over a century old. Production and development of thousands of new plastic products accelerated rapidly after World War II and transformed the world like no other material ever has. Plastic revolutionized medicinal equipment, made space travel possible and reduced the weight of cars and jets which substantially reduced fuel demand. Plastic-fantastic! However, the convenience that plastic brings has also led to a massive throw-away culture that reveals the materialโ€™s dark side: that today, single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the total plastic produced every year. Many of these products, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, are only used a single time; yet they persist in the environment for hundreds of years. Plastic is, in fact, an incredible material, but ironically, the almost indestructible material is primarily used as a one-time-object. Plastic pollution is most evident in developing nations, where waste collecting systems are often ineffective โ€“ or nonexistent. This makes it easy for the developed world to turn their back on the issue. But the problem is global and change is much needed. 

So, what can be done?

Recycling and reusing plastic materials are the most effective actions available to reduce the environmental impacts of open landfills and open-air burning that are often practiced to manage domestic waste. Currently, the food packaging industry operates in a very traditional fashion. It's stuck in the old world with one-to-one contracts, and most suppliers and end customers (restaurants and bars) are just doing business as usual. The market is, in fact, mature for disruption, and Jordisk is trying to seize an opportunity in this sphere. The timing is ideal. Europe is currently seeing drastic changes in jurisdiction and lawmaking. Single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws, and stirrers are predicted to be banned by 2021 and the EU's Green Deal Strategy is to find sustainable alternatives to replace traditional plastic.

An Earthly Solution ๐ŸŒ

Rezowan and Wara are in the pursuit of developing a digital distribution market platform for sustainable food packaging. An online ecosystem that can facilitate a broad range of sustainable single-use products. The vision is to become the natural marketplace for sellers of sustainable food packaging; a place where sellers genuinely care about the environment and have a circular model in order. A place where they can showcase their products and educate potential buyers who need one-time packaging and be the link and matchmaker between the supplier and customer. The technology boom in sustainable materials is great, but the real challenge is to change the perception of the mainstream and convince ordinary consumers to choose sustainable alternatives by making them aware that no one in the modern world can afford NOT to invest in sustainable solutions.

Jordisk's main goal is to promote and raise awareness for alternatives to plastic and change the course and trajectory for the better. We are behind their mission and are proud of what they are trying to accomplish. We can't wait to follow their progress and assist them on their startup Journey.

๐Ÿ›ฃ To be continued!

Plastic facts

About 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the 1950s โ€“ the weight of roughly a billion elephants or 47 million blue whales.

Only 9% of all plastic has been recycled. 12% has been burned, and the remaining 79% has ended up in landfills or the environment.
Approximately 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year. The equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the oceans every minute.

There are five trillion plastic pieces in our oceans โ€“ enough to circle the Earth over 400 times.

Countries like Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. export their plastic waste to various countries in Asia and Africa, offloading their trash problem to other communities.

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