â€œEliminating the idea of wasteâ€ is a basic concept of the Circular Economy. Hereâ€™s how one recycling innovator is making it mainstream.
Based in New Jersey, and with 26 offices around the world, TerraCycle has turned the recycling industry on its head. Instead of relying on municipal curbside pickup, TerraCycle works directly with brands and consumers to set up bespoke recycling services.
This lets them recycle â€“ and in many cases, upcycle â€“ all manner of materials that few recyclers would touch: everything from cigarette butts to soiled diapers, to crisps packets and chewed-up gum.
TerraCycleâ€™s unique model also puts them in a position to collaborate with major brands on innovative waste-prevention projects â€“ like Tom Szakyâ€™s latest zero-waste venture, which is challenging the way we all buy, use, and recycle everyday products.
TerraCycle is already recycling the unrecyclable. But where do you go from there?
â€œWe realized, recycling is solving the symptom of waste, but not the root cause of waste.
The question became, what is the root cause of waste? And where we landed was, using something once.â€
Enter Szakyâ€™s new company, Loop:
Loop blends the traditional milkman model with the convenience of online shopping by delivering products in durable containers (developed by brands) that are then returned to Loop to be cleaned, sanitized and used again.
Shoppers can choose from a list of 41 household brandsâ€”from Clorox to Hellmannâ€™s Mayonnaiseâ€”and find those durably-packaged products at Loopâ€™s two U.S. retail partners Kroger and Walgreens.
â€œIn Loop, instead of the consumer owning the package, the consumer borrows the package and the package is always property of the manufacturer,â€ said Loop CEO Tom Szaky.
The â€˜product-as-serviceâ€™ concept is a proven Circular Economy business model, which emphasizes access over ownership. Under a model like Loop, manufacturers retain ownership of the packaging, giving them an incentive to improve the durability and recyclability of their products.
â€˜Product-as-serviceâ€™ is one of five circular business models profiled in the National Zero Waste Councilâ€™s business case studies, and will be featured at the 2019 Zero Waste Conference.
Weâ€™re thrilled to have Tom Szaky as one of our #ZWC19 keynotes. Join us October 30 â€“ 31 in Vancouver to engage with change-makers and innovators at the 2019 Zero Waste Conference.
Early Bird Registration is open until July 2, 2019.
The 2019 Zero Waste Conference is your guide to the people, ideas and actions that are having the biggest impact.
Stay tuned to the ZWC Blog for conference updates as new speakers are announced.
2019 Zero Waste Conference:
MobilizingÂ for Success in the Circular Economy
October 30 â€“ 31, 2019
Vancouver Convention Centre (999 Canada Place)