We have a tremendous opportunity in Manitoba to adopt models that can preserve and protect our resources while still maintain and build a strong and prosperous economy. A great example of how to do this - the Circular Economy.
In short, the Circular Economy is transitioning from the historical consumption model of take-make-dispose to a system where materials & resources are utilized as long as possible in their current form and become feedstock for other materials at the end of their life.
According to wrwcanada.com, there are many leaders in business who have adopted the Circular Economy model in to their core business models. Here are the top 5 champion and innovator profiles they showcased for Waste Reduction Week in Canada.
1. Planet Partners by HP
The HP Planet Partners program recovers plastic from used ink cartridges and toners.
Plastic is recycled to create new toners and ink cartridges.
Since 2000, more than 118 million pounds (53 million kilograms) of recycled plastic have been used in manufacturing new Original HP ink and toner cartridges, keeping 2,950 tractor-trailer loads of plastic from going to landfills. Companies sign up for the program and receive a collection box which is sent back to HP for recovery once full.
2. Mission Zero Journey by Interface
The Interface product design system recovers old tiles from its customers and turns them into new ones. Once separated from the backing, the nylon yarn fluff is sent back to the company’s yarn supplier to make new yarn and the backing is ground up and melted to supply feedstock for future production.
Interfaces nylon supplier Aquafil made possible the first 100 per cent recycled nylon carpet finer, which previously had been assumed to be technically and economically impossible.
3. Levi Strauss
Every Levi’s store accepts old clothes and shoes of any brand, which the company collects and repurposes or recycles with its partner, I:CO. The collected clothes are transformed into things such as insulation for buildings, cushioning material and new fibres for clothing.
Levi’s is working to establish an infrastructure that supports closed loop products by 2020. Eventually, the company hopes to be able to recycle old Levi’s jeans into new ones. In more than 80 Levi’s stores globally, there are tailor shops that can repair, resize and restyle denim products.
4. Besics Compostable Packaging
BESICS Packaging supplies 100% compostable, biodegradable food service ware, packaging, and flatware that perform as well or better than conventional products, including sugarcane plates and bowls, hot cups, cutlery, wrap, and cellulose bags.
They are spearheading research into on-site compostability with local and international partners to answer the question of how to make sure compostable products go to the right place after use.
Every BÉSICS product is composted after use, and they partner with third party certifications and compost facilities to make that happen.
5. Smart-Size Packaging by Staples
Rather than using standard sized boxes for shipping orders to customers, in 2014 Staples implemented "smart-size' packaging whereby a machine takes cardboard and creates a custom sized box based on the order. This initiative reduces OCC waste and reduces need for placing packing pillows in boxes with extra space.
Packaging equipment was developed by Packsize International which uses approximately 15% less cardboard is used, and 60% less plastic packing pillows used.