UpCircle was founded on seeing value in things that already exist. That’s why we’ve upcycled hundreds of tonnes of leftover natural ingredients and saved thousands of pieces of packaging. Now we’re turning our attention towards plastic pollution. As a business we have always been committed to reducing our plastic use wherever possible, for example, we recently repackaged our signature coffee scrubs into glass jars with aluminium lids. We also offer plastic-free refills across our entire product range in all our D2C markets. As the next step it was a no-brainer to actively remove plastic from the environment.
We fund an impact project in Goa, India, called Project “Saaf Samudra” which means “clean sea” in Hindi. This project has so far removed nearly 1 million single-use plastic pouches from Goa’s coastline, before they got the chance to enter the Arabian Sea.
Plastic pollution is a human AND a planet problem.
UpCircle is changing that for workers at Project Saaf Samudra.
1. Multi-layered-plastic (MLP) has a low commercial value. MLP has a recovery rate of less than 5%.
2. Through our partnership with rePurpose Global, we give MLP commercial value. Waste-workers receive a good wage, health insurance and access to a dignified workplace.
3. Waste-workers then recover and remove the MLP. Without Project Saaf Samudra this plastic would have entered into the ocean.
4. MLP is taken to a co-processing centre.
Co-processing is prescribed by the UN Basel Convention as the best environmental option.
5. The minerals are extracted for use in cement production and the energy is recovered.
This replaces the use of coal and other fossil fuels.
UpCircle Beauty is now certified Plastic Negative. For every product we sell, we are contributing a percentage towards vetted impact programs that will remove more plastic waste from the environment than we create in our packaging and operations. Our vetted program is Project “Saaf Samudra,” a co-processing facility that recovers and removes ocean-bound plastic on our behalf.
For every piece of plastic that rePurpose Global gives us credit for, it is a piece of plastic that would otherwise not have been removed from our ecosystems.
100% of the plastic recovered on our behalf is "Ocean-Bound". What this means is that this project focuses on the collection of plastic waste in a 100km radius from the coastline (as defined in the Verra Plastic Standards) that would otherwise have not been collected and would most likely end up in oceans. Essentially, it is an intervention to divert this plastic safely away from the oceans before it ever has a chance to leak into it.
Project Saaf Samudra (साफ़ समुद्र) is a collaboration between rePurpose Global and V-Recycle, one of India's most trusted waste management innovators. UpCircle’s Plastic Credit contributions enables rePurpose Global to finance the recovery of ocean-bound low-value plastic MLP waste. Waste workers collect plastic waste directly from households and commercial areas to catch the plastic before it leaks out into the environment. In setting up this supply chain, we're providing an additional income stream to waste workers so that they can gain access to better education and healthcare.
Because we don't want the efficiency of the use of our products to be compromised by the packaging.
As a business we have always been committed to reducing our plastic use wherever possible, for example, we recently repackaged our signature coffee scrubs into glass jars with aluminium lids. Soon we will transition our eye cream into plastic-free packaging too.
We also offer plastic-free refills across our entire product range, this means every product can be re-ordered with an aluminium cap.