Our produce-consume-throw away trend is leading us to become enormously rich in waste and increasingly poorer in natural resources. Is it possible to reverse it? We have set out to prove that it is.
1. How to use waste to produce things
Many everyday objects such as shoes, belts or a cell phone case like ours, end up in the trash at the end of their life because they are not accepted in the recycling garbage can. Do you know why? For something very simple: products are composed of pieces of different materials that are assembled (in the case of Original POPSICASE there are two), and when they arrive at a recycling plant, they are still assembled, they cannot be sorted and therefore cannot be recycled.
The key to using discarded objects that will no longer be used as raw material to make other things lies in sorting waste and making what is called TIDY WASTE.
Many plant managers admit that it would be much more viable to recover materials if the pieces arrived alone, loose and ordered, but today it is impossible because the plants process a multitude of different objects and only the Wizard Merlin with his magic wand could disassemble them, order them and make bags of different materials for each thing.
So for example, in the case of our Original POPSICASE, it is totally impossible to recover it if you crush the plastic cover together with the aluminum handle (it would come out a useless powder). However, if we separate the two pieces, each can be 100% independently recovered.
Therefore, the key to making discarded objects that are no longer going to be used as raw material to manufacture other things lies in sorting waste and making what is called TIDY WASTE.
2.- Individual return to brands as the solution to recover waste
Taking into account that we, the manufacturers, are the ones who know better than anyone else the nature of the design of the items we produce, doesn’t it seem logical that we, the brands, should also get involved in the recovery of these items?
That is why we have joined Revivack’s individual return system, a platform that facilitates the individual return of objects to the brands to be recovered effectively. In fact, the launch of Revivack has been an extraordinary complement to the action that we have been developing for 3 years, the POPCYCLING.
3.- The responsibility of brands in the circular economy.
Another reason that supports the individual return, appeals to responsibility. If we are the brands that put a product on the market (whether we manufacture or market it), we are also the brands that are most responsible for ensuring that what we sell does not become waste.
But we are not only obliged to act from a moral point of view. Fortunately, while at the global level we find binding declarations and commitments, in the European framework we already find directives that begin to guide companies towards the real circular economy, highlighting in particular the Directive (EU) 2018/851 of the European Parliament on Extended Producer Responsibility:
“The introduction of extended producer responsibility in this Directive is one of the means to support the design and manufacture of goods that fully take into account and facilitate the efficient use of resources throughout their life cycle, including their repair, reuse, disassembly and subsequent recycling, without impairing the free movement of goods in the internal market.”
En POPSICASE usamos residuos de redes y de chatarra de aluminio para fabricar nuestras fundas. Pero ya no basta con hacer productos con materiales reciclados, sino que a la hora de diseñar cualquier cosa, tenemos que pensar en qué vamos a hacer con el producto que ponemos en el mercado cuando la vida de este se acabe: tenemos que poder separar sus partes y recuperarlas fácilmente.
At POPSICASE we use discarded fishing nets and scrap aluminum to manufacture our cases. But it is no longer enough to make products with recycled materials, but when designing anything, we have to think about what we are going to do with the product we put on the market when its life is over: we have to be able to separate its parts and recover them easily.
The process is that simple and that complex at the same time. The solution is right in front of our eyes. If we each get our act together, we can stop the create-use-throw away trend. Together, brands and you.