Secondary material marketplaces

Secondary material marketplaces are online or brick-and-mortar forums that facilitate the exchange of secondary raw materials. These marketplaces allow secondary material suppliers and buyers to find each other on a web-based platform. The concept evolved out of industrial symbiosis thinking and gained traction with the arrival of the internet in the 1990s.

WBCSD is aware of over 100 marketplaces currently operating globally. Most marketplaces operate at a municipal or regional level as challenges arise with the expansion of geographical coverage (i.e. regulations, economic viability, etc.).

Less than half of the marketplaces observed today operate as a private organization, meaning most require government or foundational resources to sustain. The privatized marketplaces finance themselves through advertising, memberships, transaction fees, subscriptions and consulting services.



mjunction's eMartketplace


  • Businesses produce large quantities of “non-core” products and by-products because of their normal operations.
  • Businesses could consider selling these “non-core” products and by-products (i.e. secondary steel, minerals, coal and coal chemicals), obsolete or idle assets, if a market exists.


  • For the market to function efficiently, both buyers and sellers need price transparency, which can be difficult to establish for industrial by-products.


  • In 2001 Tata Steel and the Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) established a joint venture called mjunction services limited, which evolved to become the world’s largest e-marketplace for steel and India’s biggest B2B e-commerce company.
  • mjunction’s mission is to create robust and sustainable supply chains by bringing more efficiency and transparency to stakeholders.
  • mjunction also offers financing and consulting services to customers.
  • mjunction is helping many industries and organizations to find the right buyers for these non-core products, while contributing positively to the environment.
  • The JV has expanded to include almost 30 waste streams, including hazardous wastes like batteries, e-waste, coal and chemicals

Key benefits

  • mjunction has increased its business volumes from Rs 94.35 crores ($13.8M USD) in 2002 to Rs 134137.68 crores ($10.27B USD) in 2016.
  • Participating companies save money by utilizing by-products and having access to idle asset identification.
  • Both buyers and sellers have increased price transparency through the online platform.
  • For the last five years, mjunction has facilitated the sales of approximately $900M USD worth of hazardous materials.