Want to switch to reusable cups? Here’s how to get started 

January 18, 2021 by  
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Want to switch to reusable cups? Here’s how to get started  Lauren Phipps Mon, 01/18/2021 – 00:15 By now, you know the problem: Nearly 250 billion single-use cups are used globally every year — most of which end up in a landfill — and the environmental, economic and social costs are mounting. And that’s just cups. You also know the solution: In addition to recyclable and compostable alternatives, reuse models are quickly emerging as a fundamentally better alternative to single-use ones, not to mention that converting 20 percent of the world’s disposable plastic packaging into reusables is a $10 billion opportunity.  So…now what?  If only this were just a matter of procurement. Far more complex are the systems surrounding cups and other disposables: platform design; customer adoption; retail implementation; collection; sanitation; end-of-life management; and, of course, selecting the right cup itself. That’s before you get to sustainable materials and production methods. Thanks to a new report by Closed Loop Partners, the path from conception to pilot and scale for a reusable and refillable packaging model — in this case the cup — has been spelled out to help you get started. It’s not a blueprint per se, but rather a collection of insights and learnings from the NextGen Consortium’s initial pilots with Starbucks and McDonald’s, done in collaboration with the design firm IDEO.  Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind when designing a new reuse system:  Design: Convenience, integration into existing systems and environmental impact must be aligned from the start, at the design phase. Consider the cup’s journey from sign-up and point of sale, to use at retail, customer handoff, point of return, washing and sanitizing, pickup and delivery. In-store inventory management (display and stackability of bulkier cups, storage, accessibility) — all will need to be designed into the system. Environmental impact is based on materials sourcing and manufacturing, the number of uses before a cup is decommissioned, and its end-of-life plan, so each element must be considered.  Collaboration: Engage baristas, staff and other key stakeholders who don’t often play a role in corporate decision-making processes. The employee buy-in and ease of integration into existing cafe workflows can make or break the success of a system. Determining the appropriate logistics partners also will be crucial at every step of a cup’s existence. Be sure to engage with local policymakers as well to ensure your program’s adherence to health and safety codes, and to help shape future policy to enable reuse models.  Implementation: Systems will need to be flexible to adapt to unique cafe environments, market needs and cultural considerations. Incentives and fee structures will need to adapt to the particular policy environment in which a cafe sits, which will likely change over time.  Adoption: When considering the overall cost of new systems, account for an investment in education, storytelling and customer acquisition. This will take time. Consider the motivations of customers and design the system accordingly, all while ensuring a seamless customer experience. Evaluate and adjust along the way.  “We are on the cusp of a reuse revolution,” says Bridget Croke, managing director of Closed Loop Partners, in the report. “Reuse will be a growing part of the plastic solution portfolio used by brands and retailers. It’s certainly not going to solve the whole plastic waste challenge, but as more of these models come to market, we are excited to see new solutions that collectively build reuse back into our cultural and behavioral norms.” Sure, many headlines about reuse are still in pilot phase, but brands and retailers have to start somewhere. On top of designing a workable system — one that considers consumer demand and readiness, cultural differences and financial barriers — it’s important to remember that the humble cup is a primary touchpoint for brand engagement. For most consumers that don’t (yet) bring their own cup to a Starbucks, for example, a change to the design and user experience could have negative visceral, emotional and Instagrammable implications.  Pilots are a great place to begin, so long as they are just the start.  Topics Circular Economy Circular Packaging Featured Column In the Loop Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Six of the cups tested as part of the NextGen Cup Challenge. Image courtesy of NextGen Consortium

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Want to switch to reusable cups? Here’s how to get started 

Scaling the Market for Post-Consumer Recycled Content

September 14, 2020 by  
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Scaling the Market for Post-Consumer Recycled Content What will it take to scale the domestic market for post-consumer recycled content? The demand for recycled plastics has skyrocketed — so much so that brands and packaging producers are experiencing limited supply. This is due, in part, to ambitious recycled content commitments by CPG giants across the nation and globe. What will it take to scale the domestic market for post-consumer recycled content and meet this growing demand? Hear perspectives from stakeholders across the value chain — from plastic producers and brands to recyclers and investors. Speakers Allison Shapiro, Executive Director, Closed Loop Partners Eunice Heath, Corporate Director, Sustainability, Dow Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer, Keurig Dr Pepper Susan Robinson, Senior Public Affairs Director, Waste Management Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 10:39 Featured Off

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Scaling the Market for Post-Consumer Recycled Content

A Roadmap for Best of Class Circular Partnerships

September 14, 2020 by  
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A Roadmap for Best of Class Circular Partnerships How can companies navigate internal and external roadblocks in order to unlock circular advancement? Fueled by consumer activism and investor demand, the transition from a linear to a circular economy is disrupting how the private sector conventionally positions its sustainability agenda. Traditionally siloed in a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR), the infusion of circular economy into sustainability has provided companies a platform to unlock financial value and demonstrate ROI, while appealing to a broad range of diverse stakeholders. For many companies however, the rapid shift to a circular platform is causing tension in how a company prioritizes, partners and communicates sustainability and circular economy initiatives both internally and externally. To ensure that companies are aligned on their sustainability, shared value and philanthropic initiatives, this discussion will address: How to identify and overcome internal barriers that prohibit progress on circular economy goals. Insights into the internal silos around sustainability/corporate responsibility that exist in the corporate space that stifle innovation, grow distrust and potentially can cause financial harm to the company. Best practices on integrating circular economy initiatives into the corporate ecosystem to drive internal alignment, innovation and external partnerships. Internal corporate value chain biases (Finance, Sustainability, CSR and Corporate Foundation) How to build successful corporate and nonprofit circular partnerships. Speakers John Holm, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, PYXERA Global Vivien Luk, Executive Director, Work Katrina Shum, Sustainability Officer, North America, Lush Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 10:22 Featured Off

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Forging a Resilient Circular Supply Chain

September 14, 2020 by  
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Forging a Resilient Circular Supply Chain Where should supply chain management and circular strategy overlap, and how can your supply chain advance the circular economy? From repair and remanufacturing to material reclamation, there are numerous ways to fold circular principles into your company’s supply chain. But what does it take to build these circular initiatives throughout a dispersed supply chain? What ROI can these changes afford? Can a circular supply chain hold more resiliency than its linear counterpart? Join this session to hear from companies forging robust, resilient, circular supply chains. Learn about the challenges they’ve faced as well as the risk mitigation and value they’ve seen as reward. Speakers Stephanie Potter, Executive Director, Sustainability and Circular Economy, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Deborah Dull, Product Leader, GE Digital George Richter, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Cox Communications, Inc. James McCall, Senior Director, Global Climate and Supply Chain Sustainability, Procter & Gamble This session was held at GreenBiz Group’s Circularity 20, August 25-27, 2020. Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 09:39 Featured Off

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Forging a Resilient Circular Supply Chain

The How and Why of Effective Pre-Competitive Collaboration

September 11, 2020 by  
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The How and Why of Effective Pre-Competitive Collaboration How (and why) can companies overcome the barriers of collaborating with their corporate peers in order to advance system-wide circular outcomes? Faced with the pressing challenges of resource scarcity, ocean plastic pollution and climate change, among others, it’s clear that unique and unprecedented collaborations are required to solve complex global issues. Together, we can drive systemic change more quickly. That’s why leading brands are participating in multi-year consortia to collectively advance a waste-free future. Panelists discuss the challenges, learnings and nuts and bolts of these groundbreaking partnerships. Speakers Kate Daly, Managing Director, Closed Loop Partners  Jane Ewing, Senior Vice President, Sustainability, Walmart Eileen Howard Boone, SVP, Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy and CSO, CVS Health, President, CVS Health and Aetna Foundations Amanda Nusz, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, Target Holly Secon Thu, 09/10/2020 – 19:40 Featured Off

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The How and Why of Effective Pre-Competitive Collaboration

Equal Recycling Access

September 11, 2020 by  
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Equal Recycling Access How can U.S. communities and industry partners collaborate to ensure access to recycling? While most Americans would agree that recycling is important, access to recycling bins, store drop-off options and other facilities can vary greatly depending on your location. Learn about the challenge of equitable access, hear about example projects to address this problem, and how government and industry stakeholders can work together to address these challenges. Speakers Dr. Shannon Bouton, Global Executive Director, Sustainable Communities, McKinsey.org  Keysha Burton, Community Program Coordinator, The Recycling Partnership Kristyn Oldendorf, Waste Reduction & Operations Coordinator, Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Bureau of Solid Waste Jennifer Ronk, Sustainability and Advocacy Manager, NA Packaging & Specialty Plastics, Dow Holly Secon Thu, 09/10/2020 – 19:36 Featured Off

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Paper, plastic or neither? Inside the collaboration to reinvent the shopping bag

September 2, 2020 by  
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Paper, plastic or neither? Inside the collaboration to reinvent the shopping bag Tali Zuckerman Wed, 09/02/2020 – 01:45 Replacing the single-use shopping bag may be one of the most complex sustainability challenges of our time. At GreenBiz’s Circularity 20 virtual conference last week, sustainability leaders from Target, Walmart and CVS came together to discuss how they are planning to do just that, and why working together despite being competitors is critical to achieving success. Their initiative, which launched last month , is called “Beyond the Bag” — a $15 million, three-year commitment to developing, testing and implementing an innovative replacement for single-use retail bags. The project, led in collaboration with managing firm Closed Loop Partners and a few other nonprofit and private members, aims to redesign the way customers get goods from store to home. “It’s great to think of a slightly better bag, but the real excitement is when you are open to a transformative idea and a way that hasn’t been thought of,” said Amanda Nusz, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Target, during the Circularity 20 session. The consortium’s goal is to develop a range of solutions to fit consumer needs, including innovations in materials, delivery options and recovery after use. Having different perspectives, different people with different backgrounds … that’s where you get true innovation. But driving such immense, industry-wide change is no easy task. No company is equipped to do it alone. The panelists stressed that the transformation will require a new approach founded in precompetitive collaboration, one that brings diverse voices to the project, signals new needs to suppliers and spreads the core message to consumers. For that reason, the project plans to involve a broad range of consumers, innovators and stakeholders in the development process. “Having different perspectives, different people with different backgrounds … that’s where you get true innovation,” said Jane Ewing, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. The panelists noted that any alternatives the consortium creates will need to match the functionality and convenience of current options on the market as well as minimize any unintended consequences along the way. By collectively standing against single-use bags, each company hopes to establish a new normal in retail. “Our collective approach sends an important, unified message of commitment,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS. “[It] sends a signal to suppliers and innovators of how closely together we are standing to make sure that we see some change.” Any solution will require work in areas of consumer awareness and education, the panelists said. “There is a lot of education that has to happen,” Boone said. “Part of the benefit of this collaborative is that there will be more voices pushing out the same conversation.” Moderating the session, Kate Daly, managing director of Closed Loop Partners, highlighted the unique position of the retail giants to create “ripple effects” for smaller businesses in the retail industry. Addressing the speakers, she noted: “You’re opening up the market for these innovations, you are doing the heavy lift of testing them and de-risking them, and that makes that available to the ecosystem.” For retailers that want to join this initiative or take on a similar one themselves, the panelists offered several key pieces of advice. Primarily, they stressed that companies must clearly identify what problem they are trying to solve, seek allies that have a shared vision and engage a broad set of stakeholders to drive innovation. Daly also encouraged anyone with ideas or innovations for Beyond the Bag to reach out to her directly. Amidst their hopeful tone, the panelists underscored that the road to plastic-free shopping will be long and complex. “These issues aren’t one-time, short-term solutions,” Boone put simply. “They are going to take a lot of time to course correct.” How much time? We will have to wait and see. Based on the conversation, the more that customers and companies collaborate to drive innovation and push for change, the better the chance for collective success. “Now, coming together with others and bringing more people to the table,” Boone said, “the art of possible has grown very, very large.” Pull Quote Having different perspectives, different people with different backgrounds … that’s where you get true innovation. Topics Circular Economy Circularity 20 Plastic Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of Erik Mclean/Unsplash Close Authorship

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Key ingredients for scaling circular reuse business models

October 18, 2019 by  
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It’s time to build this concept into our cultural and behavioral norms. Here are five things to consider.

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Key ingredients for scaling circular reuse business models

Here’s what could go wrong with the circular economy — and how to keep it on track

October 18, 2019 by  
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We must make sure that increasing the efficiency of our industrial systems doesn’t lead to more consumption.

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Here’s what could go wrong with the circular economy — and how to keep it on track

Dell’s discovery: Closed loops require an open mind

May 2, 2019 by  
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It has embedded a circularity-inspired materials review into product design.

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Dell’s discovery: Closed loops require an open mind

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