Helping companies comply with 7,000 regulations in the cheapest and most sustainable way


Retailers, manufacturers and brands face a myriad of regulations on how to handle and dispose of millions of potentially hazardous consumer products, from bathroom cleaners to nail polish – some 7,000 in all. These rules determine, among other things, whether an article can be recycled, for example, and ultimately how expensive a company’s chain activities are.

In addition, many companies send products to be burned to avoid paying expensive fines for making a wrong move.

That’s the problem Sort smarter addresses. Founded in 2015, the platform uses data and computational algorithms to enable manufacturers and retailers to determine the potential hazards of environmentally sensitive and regulated consumer products, enabling them to market and dispose of their wares more efficiently and sustainably.

“You may know what the ingredients are in your product, but not how the rules apply to the ingredients you have in the concentration you have them in,” said Jacqueline Claudia, CEO of Smarter Sorting. To complicate things, those multiple rules often change.

How does it work? The platform analyzes the physical and chemical properties of regulated consumer products by breaking down chemicals into their component parts, as well as extracting information from other databases, using billions of data points on millions of products. Ultimately, users reduce their impact on the environment, while avoiding hefty fines and lowering supply chain costs.

Storage and end of life

For retailers, one issue the platform addresses is the issue of storage. For example, combustible products usually need to be placed in a special area of ​​a warehouse with additional fire fighting equipment. Usually a small space, retailers may not have enough space to store everything – and may not have enough information to understand which products really need to be in that special space. But if there is not enough storage capacity, the manufacturer has to ship the product directly to the stores. That forces the company to choose the most expensive supply chain option available

On the other hand, if a product can be safely stored outside that special area, it can be shipped to a fulfillment center instead.

Determining the right path for dealing with a product’s end-of-life is another issue. Without proper information about how to dispose of an item, companies usually opt for the most conservative method, which is incineration, a highly polluting process. In addition, in states that don’t allow such methods, the product would be shipped to a state that does, causing even more greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, knowing the composition of a product makes it possible to opt for a different, more sustainable path, such as recycling.

Ultimately, according to Claudia, the platform makes the entire process highly transparent and traceable. “It brings a level of responsibility to the industry that has been missing for a long time,” she says.

The platform has been adopted by more than 1,700 brands and 24 major retailers, such as Costco, according to the company, which has raised a total of $55.2 million.


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