MIMI WU

Company: Myanmar Recycles

Title: Co-Founder & CEO

 

Residing Country: Myanmar

Industry: Waste Management

Joint Nominee: Henry Cox, Co-Founder & COO


 

 

Mimi manages the company’s domestic and global sales and supply, and business development, with eight years of Myanmar experience in project management. She has a background in public policy and international development, notably at USAID, World Bank, Management Sciences for Health, and International Finance Corporation (IFC).  

Mimi has always been impact-driven, and was inspired to tackle plastic bag pollution by two friends in Uganda: one had pioneered plastic film recycling there, and another started a plastic manufacturing plant that is still providing permanent jobs to the community 30 years since opening. Originally planning to operate in Uganda, Mimi was encouraged to visit Myanmar by her friend in 2013. On her first night in Yangon, she followed a garbage truck to find out where the landfill was and within two days, she had met government officials in charge of Yangon’s waste management and potential buyers.  She decided to relocate from Uganda to Yangon despite having no network in Myanmar and began laying the groundwork for Myanmar Recycles. 

 

The disruptive innovation.

 

Myanmar Recycles (MR) is one of few companies in the world that is collecting and mechanically recycling conventionally "unrecyclable", "valueless", hard-to-recycle single-use plastic bags/film that are significantly contributing to our global plastic waste crisis.  

For the recycling industry and informal collection networks, MR has developed technological processes and systems to collect, wash, and recycle otherwise ignored household plastic waste. MR has trained over 150 low-skilled workers at its recycling plant and engaged over 230 marginalized, unskilled plastic collectors, who often lack national ID cards, prohibiting them from entering the formal work force.   
For the plastics industry, MR is supplying quality recycled resin from post-consumer (household) plastic. This is a cheaper alternative to both virgin (new) and post-industrial plastics, allowing the manufacturer to incorporate required ratios of recycled content to produce the same end products.  

Finally, MR is undergoing accreditation with Verra and the 3R Initiative to join the first ever global plastic credit trading scheme. This will allow brands, plastic producers, oil and gas, and others along the plastic creation chain to minimize their global plastic footprint by purchasing recycling credits from MR. This credits system is set to launch in Q4 2021. 

 

Notes

 

Myanmar Recycles has a clear vision and path to globally implement our post-consumer plastic recycling solution; transform multi-layer packaging and post-consumer plastic into durable, value added construction products; and serve as a global leader and policy driver on plastic pollution reduction.

Working with garbage, particularly the dirtiest end-of-life landfilled waste, requires industrial-scale operational capability and, most importantly, passion and perseverance. Few globally have this blend, and it is why global brands recognize MR as a strong potential partner and why the Alliance to End Plastic Waste has selected MR for its End Plastic Waste Innovation Accelerator, which recognizes high-potential plastic waste management companies.