Recycling the Unrecyclable
“We know that some of the best ideas and boldest initiatives are coming from entrepreneurs and start-ups...
These purpose-driven disruptors are creating new business models that will positively transform our economy.
In order to accelerate efforts further we need even more partnerships in place to support and scale these exciting innovations”
- Paul Polman, former CEO Unilever
We couldn’t agree more, because scaling promising innovations is exactly what Ubuntoo does. In this edition of the Ubuntoo digest, we focus on a thorny issue faced by companies and communities worldwide. How to economically recycle multilayer laminates, foodservice containers and other items that normally go the landfill.
Thank you for being part of Ubuntoo. Our community now includes over 600 innovators, academicians and changemakers in corporations, governments, and nonprofits from 70 countries. But as a young certified (pending) B Corporation, we need your continued support to sustain ourselves, so please spread the word.
RECYCLING THE UNRECYCLABLE
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition has announced the winners of their challenge to find solutions for multi-material flexible packaging recovery – a search Ubuntoo was able to support.
Notable new solutions added last week are:
Ashortwalk makes eco-design products from waste materials, designed to last and 100% recyclable
- Simply Cups upcycles used coffee cups into rCup, a reusable and recyclable coffee cup
- Revolv. is building a network of reusable containers for the to-go economy, starting in Hong-Kong, Singapore, and Bali
- Biome Bioplastics and Futamura are working together to develop compostable multilayer packaging
- BBC Cellpack is developing recyclable stand-up pouches with its Ultrasonic Technology
We launched Ubuntoo Forums last week, so you now have the opportunity to tap into or contribute to the crowd expertise of our community. This can be either through a specific question, or a more general discussion.
- One of our members working in café services has been able to find alternatives to disposable nitrile gloves. Another member, from the academic world, has found solutions to recycle plastic boxes that hold pipettes.
- Members who joined the discussion about “biodegradable” solutions have raised valid concerns about the possible confusion caused by the term. Nobody has all the answers, so please not hesitate to post a question or engage in a discussion.
We also want to draw your attention to 2 challenges:
- Last week, the European Commission launched its 2019 European Social Innovation Competition. Three innovations that reduce plastic pollution will each be awarded €50,000.
- The Kloster Forum and Think Beyond Plastics have recently launched a Plastics Innovation Challenge. The 3 winners will be awarded $25,000 each + significant added value in kind.
Here is a selection of news articles that caught our attention last week:
- Circulate Capital and Ocean Conservancy Publish First-of-Its-Kind Investment Guide to Help Solve South & Southeast Asia Ocean Plastic Crisis Now
- AI and robotics could revolutionize municipal waste sorting
- The Netherlands targets a minimum 35% recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025
- This new recycling innovation could help fix our broken trash system
- Circularity partnerships encircling the planet
In case you missed it, have a look at this 30min documentary from Journeyman Pictures on how China is grappling with its waste crisis.
"In Africa we have a concept known as
ubuntu based upon the recognition that
we are only people because of other people"
– Nelson Mandela