Have you heard of the zero waste lifestyle? What about a circular economy? Maybe you're familiar with the term cradle to cradle?
All of these things are working towards a closed loop system.
A closed loop system mimics nature. In nature there is no waste. When a tree drops an acorn it will feed a squirrel, turn into a new tree, or decompose providing nutrients for the soil.
The ultimate goal of recycling is to make a closed loop system. Unfortunately our current recycling system is not very efficient.
Plastic only has a 9% recycle rate, and it's going to dip even lower since China placed a ban on plastic and paper imports for recycling. Recycling is very energy intensive, and many products are not designed to be recycled.
We currently live in a linear economy, and companies design their products with the landfill in mind. In the linear economy, we extract resources, turn them into products, and then we put them in the landfill.
A linear economy assumes there's an infinite supply of resources on the planet, but we know that's not true. Every year there's a day that marks when we've consumed all of the resources the earth can sustainably produce.
We hit that day on August 2, 2017, and every year the day is moved earlier and earlier on the calendar. We can't continue at this rate. We're consuming resources at a completely unsustainable rate.
We have to start designing products so they can be resumed back into the system.
We have to move to a better version of recycling, and this falls to the companies. Companies have to design their products so they can be sent back, disassembled, and used to make new products.
This will move us to a closed loop system - a system where all of the resources stay in play.
If you didn't know, your phone case is not only compostable it's also closed loop.
We have a Pela Cycle program where you can send us your old Pela cases and we can recycle them to make another generation of Pela products!
I'm so proud to work for a company that designs with the circular economy and a closed loop system in mind. I hope to see more companies move to this model.
We only have a finite supply of resources, let's find creative ways to keep our resources in play for as long as possible.
If you have an old Pela case you'd like to send back, please mail it to: Pela, PO Box 8183, Saskatoon, SK, S7K 6C5, Canada