C'est le grand retour de la consigne en verre. Il est désormais possible de ramener ses bocaux, ses bouteilles et d'autres contenants après utilisation.
Posts with term Carrefour X
Carrefour, L’Oréal et TerraCycle: Une association pour accélérer le recyclage des emballages cosmétiques. En mars 2021, L’Oréal France et Carrefour s’associent. Objectif : donner une seconde vie aux emballages cosmétiques complexes ne bénéficiant pas de filière traditionnelle de recyclage (environ 20 % des volumes). L’Oréal a ainsi déployé, dans plus de 330 hypermarchés et supermarchés Carrefour, des bornes de collecte TerraCycle et organisé un vaste plan de communication 360° pour faire connaître le dispositif.
TerraCycle tom szaky Include USA Include Canada (English) Include UK Include France Carrefour Walgreens Tesco Loop Mcdonalds Kroger AEON Burger King Tim Hortons Fred Meyer
By Tom Szaky December 10, 2021
Image via Iryna Inshyna on Shutterstock
Humankind itself doesn’t cause climate change. Rather, it’s the way it relates to nature. Indigenous practices, for example, have long sustained balance between human development and nature’s activities. However, on the road to industrialization, advancements that increased productivity disrupted that balance, including many linear (take-make-waste) practices that drive climate change. With the urbanization and the formation of cities, demands on these improved systems only increased. The breakthroughs in mass production, material sourcing and transportation that significantly and efficiently cut the time, money and human labor needed to produce and distribute goods allowed for wide and surged consumption of commodity items. This came to a head in the 1950s, when the appetite for convenience, lowered costs and a culture of consumerism really took off. When single-use and disposability (specifically of plastic, a synthetic material nature cannot absorb) exploded to enable fast-moving, on-the-go lifestyles, recycling and reintegration of material did not keep pace. As a result, about 8 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s, and more than 300 million tons are produced each year. At best, 9 percent of all plastic ever made has been recycled. The rest has been landfilled, incinerated or littered; these practices generate billions of tons of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Cities, with growing populations and demands on resources, exacerbate the waste crisis and may be a key focus area to help change course away. Cities occupy just 3 percent of the Earth’s surface but house more than half of the world’s population, consume over 75 percent of global resources, and generate 60 to 80 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Urbanization is only increasing, with 70 percent of the global population expected to live in cities by 2050.
With this, cities are also at the forefront of suffering from its scale. Waste management systems fail to meet need in developed and underdeveloped markets alike, overwhelmed by cost and insufficient infrastructure. Public health and safety are huge issues where this is especially lacking, contributing to the ongoing impacts on air, water, soil and overall quality of life for residents. Reuse and durability-based systems may provide unexplored pathways to address these challenges with positive economics; reuse systems are estimated to present a $10 billion business opportunity if only 20 percent of single-use packaging today were converted, creating jobs, cutting costs of managing waste and litter and driving value with new revenue streams. Where business goes, change tends to come, but strong support from city functions is essential to driving reuse forward. For example, the Tokyo Metro Government (TMG) was absolutely instrumental to the successful launches and expansions for our Loop reuse platform in Japan. Involved in promotion at the early stages, the city helped fund pilot testing and consumer surveys in our reusable bento lunch containers project. With their own commitments to circular economy and waste reduction targets, TMG aligns business with the environment, and is even attracted to the fact that our platform engages competing brands. Building upon the existing long-term relationship with TerraCycle Japan through recycling programs with municipalities and schools, the clear and consistent support from the start afforded credibility and footing for the platform in a new market. As the governor of the city of Tokyo stated in a recent press conference, "Large cities in developed countries such as Tokyo can make a significant impact on the global economy by playing a leading role," noting reuse was standard in the region for glass bottles for beer, sake and more just 30 years ago. Cities are complex ecosystems in themselves, so a "buy anywhere, return anywhere" ecosystem for reusables that makes it easy for consumers to access, businesses to sell and cities to benefit from is as much a feat of design as a reimagined container or durable package. This is a top priority for Loop as we expand to new markets and optimize our offerings. Today for grocery we have Aeon in Japan, Tesco in the United Kingdom, Carrefour in France and Walgreens and Kroger’s Fred Meyer banner coming soon in the United States, and the biggest names in QSR (quick service restaurant): McDonald’s was the first to pilot the model in select stores in the U.K., followed by Tim Horton’s in Canada, then Burger King in several countries in the coming months. With so much ground still to break (reuse exists today across the modern economy, but the models are incompatible — think beverages in Germany to propane tanks in the U.S.), recommendations and guardrails for cities can help minimize risk, maximize short-term returns and steer the way for scaled, widespread adoption and impact for reuse. Collaborative working frameworks for a fully implemented reuse system — this is the purpose of the World Economic Forum Consumers Beyond Waste (CBW) initiative’s community papers, released in conjunction with the World Economic Forum Sustainable Development Impact Summit during U.N. General Assembly week earlier this year.Cities, with growing populations and demands on resources, exacerbate the waste crisis and may be a key focus area to help change course away.
Featuring Design Guidelines, Safety Guidelines and The City Playbook, the documents offer a holistic view for reuse in different environments, and are authored by a variety of stakeholders for a less wasteful future. I am one of them, along with city officials, retailers and many more leaders from the public and private sector. Enabling manufacturers to produce reusables that can be sold at any retailer for a consumer to buy and return anywhere — safely, affordably and conveniently — in their local cities requires support from those cities. Cities have policy (regulation), infrastructure and procurement resources they can use to engage the public and incentivize actions that benefit reuse. It’s the consensus of the above papers that some of the greatest challenges cities face are funding, infrastructure and institutional barriers, so pushing initiatives through must include answering big questions about viability and benefit. Who is reuse good for, in the long and short term, and how do we protect our citizens and commerce during the learning periods? This is key for continued development of standards for cities that are socially equitable and environmentally positive, and help to align their activities with the global ecosystem.Cities have policy (regulation), infrastructure and procurement resources they can use to engage the public and incentivize actions that benefit reuse.
Celles qui souhaitent se lancer dans la collecte peuvent contacter l'association, qui leur enverra les affiches et explications nécessaires. II y a un point de collecte à la déchetterie de Tohannic, de Saint-Avé et Arradon, mais aussi dans le hall de l’hôpital, dans la galerie de Carrefour Market à Tohannic ou au siège de l’association. L’entreprise Terracycle, qui prend nos stylos, nous a reversé 3 549 €, depuis 2015.
TerraCycle tom szaky Include USA Include Canada (English) Include UK Include France Carrefour Walgreens Tesco Loop Mcdonalds Kroger AEON Burger King Tim Hortons Fred Meyer
Cities are complex ecosystems that both exacerbate and suffer from the scale of packaging waste. Standards for key areas of design, safety and city programming minimize risk, drive collaboration and provide trustworthy information for stewarding game-changing reuse strategies.Our society has a longstanding relationship with and dependency on single-use products. Businesses and consumers alike are accustomed to its virtues of cost and convenience, making everyday items accessible to more people than ever before. But because of this reliance and focus on a system that takes, makes and wastes products after one use, few guidelines or blueprints for viable, sustainable alternatives — including reuse — exist in a usable format. Reuse models are growing across the modern economy, but they are fragmented such that they cannot achieve impact of scale. Without foundational guidelines to drive collaboration, standardization and defining of best practices, it would be near-impossible for new and emerging reuse models to effectively implement or accelerate for impact. But there’s a case for doing so. Reuse systems can reduce plastic pollution and greenhouse gas emissions; and they are estimated to present a $10 billion business opportunity if only 20 percent of single-use packaging today were converted to reuse. So, how do we ensure everyone gets what they need out of their products — without the waste? Many would argue that ending packaging waste begins with design. Modern packages are lightweight, inexpensive and high-function (the world is used to the spouts, resealable closures, and easy-open tops of single-use containers), and literally designed to go in the trash. Defining the specifications of a package that can be physically and systematically reused is one of the first things to do. Then, determining exactly how many times said package can be cycled around (including collection, cleaning and refilling for the next person to enjoy) before it comes out superior to single-use demonstrates the value. The fewer times, the better; but a recommendation from an industry expert or experienced practitioner in the space can help businesses at different stages in their journey consider how and when reuse will work for them. There are a lot of ideas and concepts out there; but with so much work to do in solving single-use plastic waste, clear and consistent guardrails for reuse will steer the way for scaled, widespread adoption and impact. This is the purpose of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Consumers Beyond Waste (CBW) initiative’s community papers, released in conjunction with the WEF’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit during UN General Assembly week earlier this year. Featuring Design Guidelines, Safety Guidelines and The City Playbook, the documents are authored by a variety of contributors with a stake in the race to a less wasteful world; I am one of them — along with city officials, quality-assurance experts, retailers and many more leaders from the public and private sector. The papers offer a holistic view for reuse in different environments, as well as the different entry points for stakeholders along the supply chain. Offering recommendations based on experience, Loop has our own design guidelines for brands and manufacturers entering the platform — we recommend a product be able to withstand a minimum of 10 reuse cycles to qualify, and be recyclable into itself at the end of its life. Through this approach we have seen tremendous innovation, not just in sustainability but also in packaging design. Through reverse logistics, it’s possible to recover durable packaging forms in combinations of materials that improve functionality above and beyond the convenience of many single-use packages, such as a resealable food container or spring-loaded soap pump. Designing for reuse also includes the architecture of the systems packages flow through. Where Loop is a coalition of major consumer product companies and leading retailers working with trusted vendors to transport, clean, store and refill containers, it's a matter of front and backend design to enable a manufacturer to produce reusables that can be sold at any retailer for a consumer to buy and return anywhere, safely and conveniently. Where today’s largest scaled reuse model is pre-fill, which allows the consumer to buy filled products on a store shelf and return the empties into a bin (think beverages in Germany or propane tanks in the US), the challenge is that the models are incompatible: Empty propane tanks cannot be returned to the same location as an empty beer keg, and vice versa. Creating a “buy anywhere, return anywhere” ecosystem for reusables will make it easy for consumers to access, and businesses to sell. This, too, is a feat of design. Residents in Loop markets can now enter their favorite retailers and find a part of the store dedicated to reuse. With purchase, a deposit is paid, which is refunded in full upon return to any Loop retailer, putting this “waste” into a designated reuse bin versus a trash can or recycling bin. Just before the community papers I mentioned earlier, CBW released the Future of Reusable Consumption Models report, which outlined aspects of a “successful, large-scale, system-wide reuse paradigm.” One of these is consumer experience, where people have access to a variety of reusables that can compete with disposables on a number of scales, including convenience. People purchase consumables in a variety of settings, so it's important they have access to a variety of experiences. For grocery, we have Tesco in the UK; Carrefour in France; A
Les parents peuvent déposer les couches usagées dans cinq magasins Carrefour à Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris Auteuil, Saint-Ouen, Châtillon Gabriel-Péri et Rueil-Malmaison Colmar. TerraCycle se charge ensuite de les recycler : « C’est une occasion unique de prouver que tous les déchets peuvent trouver une seconde vie », explique Julien Tremblin, directeur général de TerraCycle Europe. Le test a lieu jusqu’à la fin novembre.
TerraCycle Include USA Carrefour Tesco Loop Mcdonalds Kroger AEON Burger King Tim Hortons Global In-Store Launch
A new partnership between the nation’s largest grocery chain and a reusable packaging company could be a sign that waste-reduction efforts are finally moving past the pandemic-induced plastics boom.
Two years ago, efforts to kick the country’s plastic addiction were on fire. Municipalities around the country were implementing plastic bag taxes, while mainstream shoppers embraced reusable grocery bags and flocked to the bulk aisles for foods like beans and nuts.
However, all that came to a halt when stopping the spread of COVID-19 became the country’s top priority. Almost overnight, grocery stores closed their bulk-shopping sections, coffee shops stopped filling reusable coffee mugs, and individually wrapped everything took center stage. Now, signs are emerging that the fight against plastic is getting back on track. One of the most notable of those signs came from Kroger last month, when the nation’s largest grocery chain announced it was expanding an online trial with Loop, an online platform for refillable packaging, to 25 Fred Meyer store locations in Portland, Oregon. While consumer reuse models “got punched in the face” by the pandemic, Loop’s Tom Szaky said the demand is still there, and mainstream grocery stores are going to need to find a way to meet it. Kroger plans to offer a separate Loop aisle in these stores. The products, which will include a mix of items in food and other categories, can be bought in glass containers or aluminum boxes. When they’re empty, customers return the containers to the store to be cleaned and used again. Originally scheduled for this fall, the launch has been postponed to early 2022 because of supply chain challenges, but a spokesperson said they will continue to work with their brand partners to consider items that can be added to expand the program over time. The partnership is a heartening sign after a tough year, said Tom Szaky, CEO and founder of TerraCycle, the company behind the Loop initiative. “Overall, I was very worried that the pandemic would shift the conversation away from waste,” Szaky told Civil Eats. “It didn’t slow down. In fact, the environmental movement’s only gotten stronger.” While consumer reuse models—reusable grocery bags, refillable coffee mugs—“got punched in the face,” he said, it was mainly because retailers stopped allowing them for safety reasons. And while Loop’s growth was slowed by the pandemic, it was for the same factors that upended many companies’ plans—not because interest was drying out, said Szaky. The demand is still there, he adds, and he’s bullish on the idea that mainstream grocery stores are going to need to find a way to meet it. The Kroger–Loop partnership could be the first true test of this theory. It’s the latest in a steady string of new partnerships for Loop, but until now all of the company’s U.S. packaging partners have been in other categories, such as cosmetics and cleaning products. Loop does work with a number of food companies outside the country, including Woolworths in New Zealand, Tesco in the U.K., Aeon in Japan, and Carrefour in France. Szaky says they’re also working with a grocery store in France to bring reusable packaging to fish and meat. Loop, which also works with Walgreens in the U.S. and fast food chains McDonald’s, Burger King, and Canada-based Tim Hortons, expects nearly 200 stores and restaurants worldwide to be selling products in reusable packages by the first quarter of 2022, according to the Associated Press, up from a dozen stores in Paris at the end of last year. Some experts in the space are convinced that more will follow. “It’s just a matter of time before other companies come on board,” says Colleen Henn, founder of All Good Goods, a plastic-free pantry subscription business based in San Clemente, California that sells food in reusable glass jars and paper bags. “Once somebody does it, people start to see, ‘Oh, avoiding single-use plastic is] not that complicated.’ Because it’s really not.” She would know. Henn didn’t spend the last year adapting her business; she first launched her seemingly improbable business model during—and really because of—the pandemic. She had grown frustrated that the country’s waste-reduction initiatives were falling by the wayside. “I went online and tried to find a store that shipped food to your door without plastic, and I couldn’t find it. So I created it,” said Henn. All Good Goods specializes in pantry goods like beans and pasta, nuts and dried fruit, and growth has been strong and steady since the launch. She increasingly fields phone calls from other stores looking for advice on how to avoid plastic in their operations, and as she engages with more companies, she’s optimistic that she will have a trickle-up effect within the industry. “I reach out to brands [we’re considering carrying] and see what their wholesale options are; if they’re not paper-based, if they’re not backyard-biodegradable, we move on,” said Henn. “My theory is that I’m doing my job in telling big companies that this is what consumers want. We’re just a drop in the bucket, I fully acknowledge that, but we’re doing our part to communicate this need and this want from consumers,” she said. “We’re constantly urging bigger food brands to offer a bulk wholesale option.” The growth in concern from customers—driven largely by the increase in public awareness of the world’s waste crisis and plastic’s long-term impacts like microplastic pollution in the oceans, in addition to mounting evidence about health impacts from substances like phthalates and bisphenols
that can leach from plastic into food—is clear. In 2019, Trader Joe’s announced that it would reduce plastic in its stores. Now, according to the sustainability page on the national chain’s website, the packaging for more than 150 products in store now uses more recycled or “sustainably sourced materials,” or have fewer excess components. A spokesperson for the store also told Civil Eats that “customers can expect an update sometime in early 2022.”
Whole Foods Market, which some expect to lead the industry on waste reduction given its positioning on sustainability, declined an interview for this story. But a spokesperson said the retailer has launched a reusable container pilot in response to customer interest. In two stores in Boulder, Colorado, the spokesperson said customers can pay a deposit for a reusable glass container, fill it with prepared or bulk foods, and return the container after use for the store to inspect, clean and sanitize. (Whole Foods also piloted a reusable container program in San Rafael, California, in 2019, but that has since ended.)
When Whole Foods stopped using disposable plastic grocery bags in 2008, the company was a national leader among national grocery chains. However, it continues to use plastic bags and packaging within the store for foods like produce and meat. The company spokesperson said they have reduced the waste footprint of those items but declined to say whether those efforts have reduced the company’s total plastic footprint. The grocer may have also introduced plastic in new places throughout the store in recent years, such as the safety seal on some yogurt containers, which was transitioned from foil to plastic, but the spokesperson would not comment, nor would they say whether there are plans to scale the pilot or implement any other reusable systems in the future. Jerusha Klemperer, director of FoodPrint, a non-profit dedicated to research and education on food production practices, reflected on the shift from companies like Trader Joe’s, and the consumer pressure on companies like Whole Foods. “The only reason [companies like] Trader Joe’s would make that commitment is that they heard customers complaining. I do think there’s evidence that people want more of this—but they have to see it offered, and they can’t have to work extra hard to make it happen.” That is the philosophy that Szaky has applied to Loop, and what makes the Kroger announcement so significant. By designing refillable systems to resemble the traditional shopping experience as closely as possible, proponents say, they are more likely to attract more customers to sign on. “It’s exciting because it marks the first major step as retailers take the reins. It also is a really conducive way to do reuse. Customers can go to Kroger, buy a product, and on their next trip drop off the empties,” said Szaky. “For reuse to grow, it has to be as convenient as disposable; customers need to be able to buy it anywhere and return anywhere. The more robust and developed that network is, the stronger it becomes.” Plastic-free vs. Waste-free
Loop’s expansion, while noteworthy for waste reduction advocates, points to some underlying questions that companies, consumers, and regulators still need to grapple with. Loop itself does not design packaging options. It leaves that to the companies making the products, and steps in to approve specific packaging types for durability once they’ve been developed (and it does offer some hand-holding for that process). Loop’s lineup includes a lot of glass and aluminum, but it also includes plastic packaging at a time when many scientists and environmentalists have grown increasingly vocal about the need to shift away from plastic entirely.
“It’s not, to me, about plastic or no plastic. It’s about the role of recycling, degradability, reuse—and it’s the systems we need to look at, not necessarily what’s at play on top of the systems,” he said. “So many companies are interested in compostable packaging, but the thing that no one’s solving for is that most [municipal composters] don’t want them.”
Compostable packages aren’t a great solution on the production side either, if they’re made from plants grown in industrial monocrop systems like corn, said Klemperer. Many types of paper-based packaging have their own problems, such as being lined with PFAS or associated with deforestation. More fundamentally, all of these replacements perpetuate disposable culture and do little to encourage behavior change, which experts say is the only real solution. Fortunately, Klemperer thinks that where traction is gaining most is in refillable packaging. Where she would also like to see rapid action across the industry, she said, is in the reduction of excess packaging—produce pre-packaged on Styrofoam trays wrapped in plastic, for example. “It seems like there are certain products where eliminating packaging would be the easiest, lowest-hanging fruit,” she said. Why Is Food Behind the Refillable Curve?
It’s unclear why food has lagged behind products such as bath and cleaning products in the adoption of refillable and plastic-free packaging. But it’s likely in part due to heightened regulations, for food safety in general and COVID in particular.
“We had to spend time with the health department training them on how we can do this without plastic, because nobody else was doing it,” said All Good Goods’ Henn, whose background in water quality science may have proved to be an advantage. But it was ultimately achievable: “What I kept coming back to is that we were just returning to the old way of doing things. We’re big fans of the milkman, and we’re basically trying to recreate that online,” she said.
“A lot of very large food companies are talking about plastic, but they need to rethink how they’re doing business. I think we should be a little inconvenienced, at this point, for the greater good.”
She thinks that food safety, though, can’t be the only reason that food companies are lagging behind others on packaging. More intangible factors are the larger hurdles: Disposability is embedded into the modern supply chain, and adoption of reusable packaging requires a fundamental shift in mindset from corporate leadership and a major overhaul of logistics within the supply chain, said Henn. The fact that it is not easier to find bulk plastic-free pantry products is a perfect example, she said—her entire business essentially relies on ordering products at the same scale that restaurants do, which is nothing new for the supply chain. Yet many large food companies still can’t accommodate her plastic-free criteria. At the same time, she has found companies that make it possible—Lundberg, for example, delivers bulk rice in paper bags. And some wholesalers even collect and refill their own bulk packaging. “That’s the thing,” said Henn. “A lot of very large food companies are talking about plastic, but they need to rethink how they’re doing business.” She’s clear that will not always be an easy task, but she adds: “I think we should be a little inconvenienced, at this point, for the greater good.”
TerraCycle tom szaky Include USA Carrefour Walgreens Tesco Loop Mcdonalds Kroger Burger King Kraft-Heinz Tim Hortons Ulta Beauty Global In-Store Launch
If you walk into a Fred Meyer supermarket in Portland, Oregon, in late October, you might notice something new: In some of the chain’s stores, a new section will sell common products, like hand soap, in reusable packaging that customers can later bring back to the store.
Kroger, which owns the chain and plans to roll out the new reusable section in 25 Fred Meyer stores in Portland before potentially expanding to other cities, is one of several retailers to begin using Loop, a platform for reusable packaging that started with online orders. “It’s really aligned with our vision of a world with zero waste,” says Denise Osterhues, senior director of sustainability and social impact at Kroger. “It’s innovative, and it’s a platform that could ultimately help end single-use packaging and disposability that we’ve all become so accustomed to.” Customers pay a deposit on the package, which they get back when they return it to a drop-off bin in the store. Then Loop sorts the packaging at a “micro node” nearby, and sends it to a larger facility for cleaning and sanitizing, before ultimately returning it to a manufacturing facility to be refilled and reused. Some of the brands in the platform use standard packaging that just hasn’t been reused in the past, like Gerber baby food in glass containers. The same platform launched in Tesco, the U.K. supermarket chain, in ten stores earlier this month. Tesco, which is offering 88 different items in reusable packaging, calculated that if customers in those 10 stores switch to the reusable version of three products—Coca-Cola, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, and Ecover cleaning products—the packages would be reused more than 2.5 million times a year. While the new store display has signs explaining how the system works, Tesco is also using Loop “ambassadors” at the launch to help customers understand what to do. “It’s effectively exactly like how organic came to life in stores, when you would walk into a store and see an organic section and then shop that section if you care about organic products,” says Tom Szaky, CEO and founder of Terracycle, the recycling company that created the Loop platform.
[Photo: Loop]The system launched in late 2020 in Carrefour, a large retailer in France, and in Aeon stores in Japan in May 2021. Walgreens plans to begin using the in-store system in early 2022, and Ulta Beauty will follow sometime next year, along with Woolworth’s in Australia. Some restaurant chains are also beginning to use the system, including McDonald’s, Burger King, and Tim Horton’s. Kroger chose to launch first in Fred Meyer stores in Portland, Osterhues says, because the company knew that customers in the area were particularly interested in sustainability (the stores also have a larger physical footprint than some of the company’s other supermarkets, so there was more space available for the new display). It hopes to expand. “Our hope would be to scale it, because that’s when it becomes truly financially beneficial, as well as better impact for our planet,” she says.
“The critical piece here is scale,” says Szaky. “It’s more brands and retailers really taking this seriously by going in-store and then scaling their in-store presence. And that will then leave us where hopefully in a few years from now, you’ll be able to go anywhere, into your favorite retailer, and see a Loop section with whatever your favorite brands are.”
New legislation could also help push it forward, he says. In France, for example, a new anti-waste law includes a ban that will begin next year on disposable tableware in restaurants, including fast food chains. “That’s actually a pretty big deal for something like a McDonald’s,” he says.
A TerraCycle, empresa global em soluções ambientais de resíduos de alta complexidade, inaugurou um estande totalmente dedicado à comercialização de produtos com o conceito lixo zero. Há dois anos o Loop se propõe a oferecer aos consumidores uma nova maneira de comprar e de consumir itens essenciais do dia a dia.
TerraCycle Include Canada (English) Procter & Gamble Carrefour Walgreens Tesco Pampers Loop Häagen-Dazs Loblaw Burger King Kraft-Heinz
Tom Szaky says, “Wow! " Maybe he plugs his nose like we all do, but in front of a full Pampers - just like in front of a cigarette butt, glasses of glasses thrown in the trash or fabrics with enigmatic names of fibers doomed to the dumps. - he sees the opportunity to find a solution. Born in Hungary, arrived in Toronto at the age of 5, now living in New Jersey - he studied at Princeton -, Tom Szaky is truly one of the entrepreneurs who stand out in the world by greedily embracing the challenges of the circular economy. You may know one of his babies, Loop, a company already present in the United States, France and the United Kingdom, which has just arrived in Canada and which allows brands sold in supermarkets to use containers. recorded. It's being tested in Toronto now, in partnership with Loblaw and other well-known brands, such as Heinz or Häagen-Dazs. "It's been just over a week and we've exceeded our one-month goals," Szaky said in a telephone interview. Basically: we order online, it is delivered by Loop, the customer consumes the contents - soup, ketchup, juice, etc. -, and the container is then taken back by a delivery system which will carry everything for cleaning. Then the containers will return to the brands, who will refill them, resell them. You get the picture. And it will be in Montreal at the beginning of 2022, the garbage recycling giant told me. Because there isn't just Loop in the life of the 39-year-old entrepreneur. There is also TerraCycle, his first company, dedicated to the transformation of waste. His first product, at the very beginning, in 2001, was kitchen waste, which he vermicomposted, sold in recycled plastic bottles. But today, it has gone much further in the recovery and transformation of waste long considered irrecoverable, such as dirty disposable diapers - which its teams make into plastics in particular - and cigarette butts, from which they also extract plastics from the filter, while composting the rest of the tobacco. TerraCycle also works to collect and process plastic bottles around the world. Because the company is everywhere, from Tokyo to Trenton, in Ontario, present in twenty countries. With laboratories all over the place, but mainly in New Jersey - in a landfill - TerraCycle is constantly doing research. Its business model: wait for a major player to ask for its help. The company does not seek to sell its green solutions. She finds solutions for those who want them. In large scale. Its partners are called Walgreens, Home Hardware, Procter & Gamble… The list goes on. One of the next projects: promoting waste as an information medium. The contents of diapers say a lot about the health of babies, as does used oil on the condition of engines, says Tom Szaky. You might as well take advantage of everything that can be revealed. Another avenue explored: the Loop system of material reuse in a loop, but applied to cloth diapers and children's clothing. It's coming fast in the United States and the United Kingdom. In both cases, in partnership with very large companies. So, we forget the small community cloth diaper cleaning service. We think big brands sold in supermarkets. With cleaning, transport and reuse systems in the case of diapers. And simply a cash deposit system, such as a deposit, in the case of baby clothes. Deposit that we recover, of course, by bringing back clothes that have become too small. *** TerraCycle is not a newcomer to the world of waste recovery and recycling. It was founded in 2001 when young Szaky was a student at Princeton. It was during a trip with friends from university to Montreal, at this time, that he saw for the first time worms transforming organic waste into compost and that he had the idea of make the first product of his waste recovery business. Today, about a third of the company's work is industrial waste, and the rest is our everyday consumer waste. The next challenge right now is, you guessed it, on the side of masks, gloves and all the disposable equipment used in the fight against COVID-19. “There's a whole new stream of waste here,” says Szaky. TerraCycle takes care of it. But the real challenge, 20 years after the discovery of vermicomposting, is no longer concentrated at all towards the quest for new waste streams, new gold in the bins. The new frontier is logistics on a large scale, the search for solutions that work on a large scale and, above all, very, very large. Loop, for example, now operates on a large scale in the United Kingdom with the giant Tesco, in France with Carrefour, and in the United States with notably Walgreens and Burger King! Major players. Currently, explains Mr. Szaky, there is a remarkable awakening of individuals to the need to produce less waste as well as to recover and reuse objects. Consumers' support is therefore less difficult to obtain than before. Loop's home in Toronto is one example, as is the proliferation of grocery stores offering unpackaged products. But the world of recovery and reuse is also becoming more complex, and the financial challenges are not trivial. The price of oil is low, so there is less reason to want to recover its derivatives otherwise. Also, the raw material is not what it was 20 years ago. There is less waste than before, they are lighter, packaging is often made with more complex materials, more difficult to work with and to break down. (Besides, Szaky thinks that packaging should be simplified, not become more and more multi-layered and multi-material.) Countries that bought waste from others became more demanding. We saw it, in Quebec, when China started to refuse our waste. When I ask him if the company also intends to take new paths to integrate its work into larger, more global pollution reduction systems, Tom Szaky answers no. “You want to focus on one problem and be good,” he says. So Loop does not come with a guarantee of green transport, for example. It is up to the partners to then be consistent. In France, Carrefour is looking for a solution for “green” delivery. And can consumers do more to recycle better? Should we buy everything second-hand? At TerraCycle, offices all over the planet are fitted out and furnished with recycled materials, used objects. “Actually, no,” Mr. Szaky replies. “What is needed more than anything is buying less. "