One of the most important problems that surrounds the world environment today is the amount of plastic waste that ends up in the landfill. More than 90% of the plastic products are not recycled and almost 75% of them find their way in the landfills. This has resulted into more than 6 billion tons of plastics having been dumped in the landfills so far and the numbers are increasing alarmingly every year. And it takes more than 500 years for most of these plastic materials to decompose completely which should be a big red flag for all netizens of planet earth.
While one way of tackling this situation is by reducing the production of plastic materials by reducing the consumption itself, we all know plastic products have become an indispensable part of our daily lives. It's not so easy to get rid of them. The other way is by ensuring that plastic scraps are reused and recycled. While the main reason a lot of scraps are not recycled is because they are of low quality, another reason why a substantial amount of scraps is dumped is because the companies who generate or collect scraps can't always find buyers for the materials. And the irony is that there are companies around the world who need such scraps either to recycle or as a feed in their production but can't find them when needed.
Scrapo, a Silicon Valley startup, believes that if we are able to simply bridge this gap between the plastic scrap buyers and sellers, it would have a tremendous positive impact on the environment. Rashad Abbasov, the CEO of Scrapo notes, "We have to understand that if plastics continue to find place in landfills or in the ocean instead of recycling centres or production plants, we are all going to suffer. So we thought why not help plastic scraps find the right place? Even if our efforts lead to a single percentage increase in the amount of plastics recycled or reused globally, we would be happy that we contributed towards making the world a better place."
Scrapo's idea is simple - make it easier for buyers and sellers of plastic scraps to instantly discover, negotiate and close deals so that more plastic scrap is consumed. A seller can list their materials in Scrapo in seconds and receive bids from interested buyers from all across the globe. Best of all, with Scrapo mobile apps you can do it right from your phone. To facilitate trade in the platform, Scrapo has integrated real-time communication tools so that traders don't need to check their emails or get on phone calls anymore.
"The idea is to promote free market philosophy and increase participation through use of technology," added Abbasov, "If you as a trader, big or small, have access to hundreds of offers instead of a few, you are more likely to find a better deal and close it sooner."
One of the factors that undermine the market efficiency and create barriers for trade in this industry is the lack of trust between buyers and suppliers. Buyers in most cases don't know suppliers, nor can they be sure of the quality of the material they should expect to receive unless they visit and inspect materials at the seller's site themselves. This is of greater concern for international buyers who trade with sellers outside of their home country.
Similarly, from a seller's perspective, guaranteed on-time payment is a big concern. There are some marketplaces which verify a trader's identity online when they register on their platform. However, just verifying the identity is not enough. Guaranteeing quality and payment is equally important to facilitate a smooth and secure deal.
When asked what his take on the trust issue is, Abbasov said, "We understand that trust is the biggest concern surrounding this industry. That's why we have come up with an innovative solution - an on-demand service called ScrapoSure - to ensure trust and security. If a buyer is ready to move ahead with a deal which they have negotiated with the seller, they can opt to avail ScrapoSure. Under this service, our team personally visits the seller's site, verifies their identity, inspects the materials the seller has, supervises the loading process and assists with the logistics. We also provide escrow payment services so that if all goes well with the deal, the seller receives the payment as soon as the material is shipped. We want to make recyclables trading as easy and secure as buying a book on Amazon."