10 Startups Reducing Plastic Waste in 2023

Woman standing in front of a large container of plastic jugs.

Now more than ever, it’s clear that business owners have a duty to make the world around them a better place. Over 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans, making plastic pollution an incredibly pressing issue. Luckily, entrepreneurs everywhere are rising to the challenge. From household appliances to reducing the usage of plastic bags, these startups are working to create a more sustainable planet for us all. 

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Startup Companies Tackling Plastic Pollution

Here are some of the top businesses working toward cutting down plastic waste. Keep an eye on these startups if you’re looking to partner with entrepreneurs who are also passionate about recycling and keeping our planet thriving. 

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

1. Loop Industries

Location: Quebec, Canada
Funding: $56.5 Million

Loop Industries' goal is to “close the plastic loop” entirely via its revolutionary, proprietary technology that transforms PET plastics and polyester fibers into quality materials, like clothing. Instead of wasting away in the landfill, Loop Industries founders want these items to be reused over and over again in order to eliminate waste.

2. Brightmark

Location: San Francisco, California
Funding: $5.8 Million

Brightmark is on a mission to “reimagine waste” with its plastic renewal technique. Brightmark collects plastic materials from municipal partners then takes them to their facility to be shredded, transforming them into pellets. From there, the pellets are placed into an oxygen-starved container, where they can then be used as low-grade fuel alternatives.

3. Flexi-Hex

Location: Cornwall, United Kingdom
Funding: $2.6 Million

Product packaging contributes to plastic waste more than we think. Flexi-Hex started their business to create a better alternative to plastic packaging with its patented packaging sleeve. Made entirely out of paper, Flexi-Hex’s product is hefty enough to protect your items and is easily compostable/recyclable from home.

4. Xampla

Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Funding: $8.3 Million

Rather than recycle plastic, Xampla (pronounced “Zam-plah”) aims to eradicate single-use plastics once and for all. They’ve created the world’s first plant-based material for commercial use. This state-of-the-art substance acts and feels like plastic but decomposes naturally. In addition to getting rid of those pesky single-use plastics, Xampla is also working to cleanse other everyday products like laundry soap from microplastics. 

5. Scrapp Ltd.

Location: Singapore and United Kingdom
Funding: $105,000

Scrapp Ltd. is making recycling worth your while. Simply scan a product’s barcode to find out what materials can actually be recycled in your community. The more products you scan, the more points you earn to spend in the Scrapp sustainable marketplace. Points can also be donated to Scrapp’s charity partners that are working to also end plastic waste.

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6. Novoloop

Location: Menlo Park, California
Funding: $7.4 Million

Another upcycling startup, Novoloop is working to convert plastic into chemicals and oils. They take things like plastic bags, packaging, and containers and break them down to the molecular level. These materials are then transformed into reusable, upcycled properties with a reduced carbon footprint.

7. ClearDrop

Location: Texas
Funding: Undisclosed

ClearDrop is a household appliance that aims to eliminate the need for single-use plastics. Simply place all of your recycling materials into the single plastic compactor (SPC) and watch the magic happen right in your kitchen. From there, your plastic materials will be melted to create a recyclable plastic pile without releasing harmful chemicals into the air.

8. Mushroom Material

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Funding: $280,000

Mushroom Material is a startup also looking to tackle sustainable packaging. Their packaging product (made out of, you guessed it, mushrooms!) is a great plastic and styrofoam alternative, as it’s able to be recycled and/or composted.

9. ReNew ELP

Location: United Kingdom
Funding: $5.7 Million

Like Novoloop, ReNew ELP is a business that’s passionate about turning plastic into reusable materials. HydroPRS, ReNew’s cutting-edge technology, takes plastic and upcycles them into something new. However, ReNew’s model is all about taking things that aren’t considered recyclable and making them usable again to keep plastic out of our landfills.

10. Lasso Loop Recycling

Location: San Mateo, California
Funding: $750,000

We come full circle with Lasso Loop Recycling. Lasso Loop is the world’s first at-home recycling solution. Using their Lasso AI machine and app, Lasso makes recycling easier than ever. If an item isn’t recyclable, Lasso simply returns it to you. Additionally, their machine eliminates food residue and other impurities so that items that would be considered “contaminated” may be recycled, too.

Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!

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