You’re probably noticing the growing interest in the circular economy – but what on earth are ‘semi-circular’ strategies? We unpack what podcast guest Steve Haskew meant by ‘semi-circular’ and look at why semi-circular strategies are a sustainable step in the right direction.
Catherine Weetman MSc FCILT FRSA - Director, Rethink Global Catherine gives talks, workshops and advice on the circular economy and sustainability. Her award-winning book, A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains, published by Kogan Page, includes wide-ranging examples and practical tips. Catherine has over 25 years' experience in contract logistics, manufacturing, retail and supply chain consultancy, and her career spans food, fashion and logistics, including Tesco, Kellogg's and DHL Supply Chain. She is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Huddersfield, and a Mentor and Regional Organiser for the Circular Economy Club
Remanufacturing is one of the circular economy strategies that helps us keep products, components and materials ‘in the system. It means we can have high-quality, reliable products and equipment with pretty much the same performance as a new version – and costing significantly less – for the customer, society and our environment.
In today’s episode, I’m talking to Steve Haskew of Circular Computing, which remanufactures high-quality top-brand laptops, including Dell, HP and Lenovo. They are certified carbon-neutral, with performance tested as providing 97 per cent compared to a new model.
Circular Computing has been remanufacturing since the 1990s, and provides laptops to education, public sector and even direct to consumers. Every machine goes through a 100+ point-check, any worn components are replaced and selected components are upgraded to give them a performance boost.
The company now has over 250 staff and remanufacturing capacity of up to 10,000 units each month. We talk about the customer value proposition, and how remanufacturing is different to second-use products.
Across Africa, and much of the world, end-of-use plastic is not collected for proper recycling. Instead, it is burnt; ends up in drains, sewers, fields and rivers; or in unprotected landfill, allowing toxins and microplastics to leak out. This is one of the hidden costs of our modern ‘linear’ economy – take, make and waste. Four entrepreneurs are turning that plastic waste into value – creating jobs for both disadvantaged and skilled people, improving local environments, and helping people find a purpose. We dig into their business models and hear their top tips for circular startups
Eco Brixs | lessons from social entrepreneurs in Africa | 30 under 30 | Don’t try to fix the problem
EcoBrixs Mission is “To create green, environmentally friendly, sustainable solutions to lift people out of abject poverty in Uganda”, and it does that by giving trash – waste plastic – a value. That means anyone in the community can recycle.
Eco Brixs started out in 2017. Frustrated with the lack of waste management systems in Masaka, Andy Bownds and his team started collecting plastic in his back garden, and after collecting 2 tonnes, decided to start a simple plastic collection facility called ‘Masaka Recycling Initiative’.
They went further, creating a circular economy solution to recycle plastic which would help support the local communities and economy. They developed an innovative plastic-sand composite paver which has been proven to be stronger, lighter and more durable than concrete. Fast-forward to 2019, and Masaka Recycling Initiative has now evolved into ‘Eco Brixs’, one of the largest recycling facilities outside of Kampala.
The Argeileh Project | Reputation risk | Circular economy video
The café is an important part of the ‘social glue’ in many countries, especially those where alcohol is illegal or frowned upon. People gather to discuss the gossip – families, friends, celebrity and political happenings are discussed and even argued over, around a shared table. They may enjoy a shared experience, too, perhaps by smoking cigarettes, or in many cultures, using a hookah.
We explore some of the downsides to hookah smoking, for cafés and their customers, and find out how sustainable, circular and responsible approaches can create a better solution, helping café owners strengthen their reputations.
We talk to entrepreneur and designer Bassam Huneidi, about his Argeileh Project. Bassam is a circular economy designer and strategist, and a graduate of the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. We hear how Bassam plans to disrupt one of the biggest traditions in the Arab world with a zero waste alternative that is better for the environment, cheaper for suppliers and better for public health, while providing the same experience for the user.
The Argeileh Project (or TAP for short) is a subscription based service that argeileh cafes sign up to. In return, Bassam’s team take the café’s current stock of argeilehs and melt them down into TAP vapes. These vapes are designed on cradle to cradle principles, so they are easy to maintain, easy to upgrade and in the case where neither is possible, infinitely recyclable.
Close the Loop | Linear risk & circularity gaps | Circularity for human development | Happy Hustle giveaway | Hot Air
#2 in our Linear Risks blog series asks whether there is a circularity gap in your value chain, leaving room for competitors to profit from your products, materials and reputation. We explain how circular approaches can close this gap and help you capture that value.