New circular economy program connects businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs to uncover and implement new creative solutions for hard-to-recycle wastes and by-products

Sandusky, Ohio - April 4, 2017: Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler today announced the launch of a new online platform that allows continuous reuse of products and materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. Through the cloud-based Ohio Materials Marketplace, traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams are matched with new product and revenue opportunities, ultimately enabling the culture shift to a circular, closed-loop economy. 

With statewide access to thousands of Ohio’s businesses, communities and other organizations, Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental & Financial Assistance (DEFA) is well positioned to bring members together in this modern online marketplace,” Director Butler said. “This new service positions Ohio as a leader in the circular economy, helping remove materials from the waste stream, promoting jobs and allowing for better efficiency and savings in the processes of creating goods and services.

Ohio is the first state in the US to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale. This leadership from the Ohio EPA is paving the way for other states - through a new public-private partnership between the US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) - to launch state-level programs modeled on the Ohio Materials Marketplace.

The Ohio Materials Marketplace also allows for collaborations to be made between Ohio’s larger manufacturers working towards zero-landfill and highest and best use of materials like General Motors, and agile and innovative small and medium-sized businesses. 

John Bradburn, Global Manager of Waste Reduction at General Motors notes, “The Ohio Materials Marketplace provides a great opportunity to utilize materials in a sustainable way, while enabling business and job development and profitability to a very diverse group of participants.

The Ohio State University’s Sustainable and Resilient Economy (SRE) program will be engaged in this initiative, and has assembled an outstanding group of interdisciplinary experts to address key challenges in both technology and governance.

According to Dr. Joseph Fiksel, Executive Director of SRE, “Through our engagement with US BCSD, as well as other business and government partners, we are able to integrate and apply the latest scientific methods to support circular economy practices in the real world. It has been an exciting journey.

Over the past 20 years, Materials Marketplace projects spearheaded by the US BCSD and scale-up partner Pathway21 have engaged hundreds of companies - large and small - academic institutions, nonprofits and entrepreneurs around the world. Andrew Mangan, Founder and Executive Director of the US BCSD, says “This partnership is a breakthrough alignment between business and state government leaders on circular economy objectives.

For more information on the Ohio Materials Marketplace and to get involved, visit the program’s website at http://ohio.materialsmarketplace.org.