While big chains such as Walmart and its brands are incorporating How2Recycle labels into its products, the problem of recycling infrastructure remains. Especially in the US, where the recycling rate (including composting) is barely above the 34 percent mark since 2010.

While this is a task for the Governments in most countries the rise of social enterprise to solve the problem is emerging. There is money to be made out of trash.

A innovative social enterprise called The Plastic Bank is doing just that.

The Plastic Bank has created a Blockchain digital currency & exchange platform to incentivise the collection of plastic waste before it becomes Ocean Plastic. In addition to the benefits of recycling, the platform provides the ability for local entrepreneurs to operate a convenience store for the poor, in which plastic waste is the currency. It is a means for anyone to go out and collect enough plastic to provide for their families and send their children to school. All through the act of recycling.

We are looking forward to see more initiatives like this in the future!

Read more: http://plasticbank.org/

  • Elin Wibell

There are so many ways for enterprise to work sustainably and to actually boost business from doing so! What follows is a brief account of how your company can make a positive impact by implementing a circular business model.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO have jointly developed The Circular Design Guide. The guide is really an ideal tool for identifying opportunities to make your business more sustainable. By joining the circular economy, you prolong the life of your product, thus furthering a positive cycle and, incidentally, generate numerous opportunities to expand your range of services.

  • Reuse – this way, you extend how long a product or a material stays in use. This might mean offering a product as a service, as in car sharing schemes, or reselling old possessions as on e-bay.

  • Refurbish - You design a product that can easily be repaired or upgraded to prolong use. There are many ways to have the product come back to you - this time as the service provider.

  • Remanufacture – Your product returns to the manufacturer after use to have any necessary components replaced before re-entering the market. Restore your product to new or better standard.

  • Recycle - You design a product that is made from pure materials, standardised to be recycled and returned to a raw natural state.

So how do you go about it? A start is to follow these steps:

1.) Define your challenge based on weaknesses/opportunities

2.) Find circular opportunities as in;

- Can your product be a service in some way?

- Can you make it easier for your users to repair it themselves?

- Can you minimise the waste stream your product produces?

- Can any of your materials be sourced more locally?

3.) Build a cross functional project team

4.) Circular buy-in & stakeholder mapping

5.) Develop or redefine your business model from a circular design perspective

6.) Create brand promise - How does your circular opportunity reinforce your brand value?

Read The Circular Design Guide to get all the steps defined and start your own journey

Source & Copyright © Ellen MacArthur Foundation + IDEO 2016.

  • Elin Wibell

Food waste is a huge global problem. 31% of food produced is lost or wasted through the value chain and as consumer waste.

That's why Tristram Stuart, an expert on the environmental and social impacts of food production, created Toast Ale in 2015. A start-up where all profits go to a charity aimed to stop the waste of food.

Toast Ale collects surplus bread from delis, bakeries and sandwich makers and use it to brew beer. 44% of all bread in the UK is thrown away so he want get a shortage of bread. This is a great example of circular economy.

www.toastale.com

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