Thriftify.ie, an Irish e-commerce website which sells items from 98% of Ireland’s charity shops, has secured funding through the government’s Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme.
The scheme supports innovation and the circular economy by boosting projects set up by social enterprises, in both the voluntary and community sectors.
Thriftify enables charities to sell donations easily and effectively via smart tech. Participating charity shops upload either a photo or barcode of an item and Thriftify will price it and sell it across several different online sales platforms such as eBay, Facebook, Instagram and its own website. This smart tech enables charity shops to easily sell preloved fashion items and books via Thriftify which will then post any sold items to the purchaser in a biodegradable bag, ensuring that the whole process is as eco-friendly and effective as possible.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging statement signed by beauty brands
Several beauty and personal care majors have joined 100+ businesses in signing a statement from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation calling for recycling costs and responsibilities to be extended to industry. The public statement said that without Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) – where supply chain members were mandated to take on certain costs and joint responsibility – packaging collection and recycling was “unlikely to be meaningfully scaled” in the future. Among the 100+ signatories, including a raft of food and beverage players like Coca-Cola and Nestlé, non-profit WWF and the European Investment Bank, several leading beauty players had aligned their support, including Beiersdorf, Henkel, L’Oréal, Schwarz Group and Unilever, among others. “For a circular economy, packaging that can’t be eliminated or reused must be collected, sorted and recycled or composted after use. But currently, the economics do not stack up: collection, sorting and recycling or processing packaging costs more than the revenues made from selling the recycled materials. We need dedicated, ongoing and sufficient funding to make the economics of recycling work,” the Ellen MacArthur Foundation said.
People Behind CSR at Cisco: How Cisco drives an inclusive, sustainable future through the circular economy
Welcome to our blog series on the people behind Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Cisco. Each blog in this series will highlight a different Cisco employee who works closely with CSR initiatives across the company. Enabling an inclusive future for all requires that we care for the planet we all share and do our part to address global challenges. A key tenet of this is enabling a circular economy, moving from a linear economy where products are developed with the expectation of a single use, to a circular model of resource conservation, use, and reuse. Katie Schindall is at the forefront of this work as the Director of Circular Economy at Cisco, leading her team and partnering with company-wide stakeholders to enable a circular economy across Cisco. She has a Master of Environmental Management and an MBA coupled with diverse experience across corporate sustainability.
Plastic is a global scourge and accounts for up to 12 percent of Thailand’s total waste every year, amounting to a total of 2 tons according to the Pollution Control Department. Pollution — a related issue given the toxins released when plastic waste is burned or dumped into waterways — presents a range of problems for Thailand. Thailand’s air includes two times the limits set by the World Health Organization for dangerous chemicals, and 32,000 premature deaths in Thailand were attributed to air pollution in 2020. Moreover, the country is ranked sixth in the list of the world’s worst offenders for dumping plastic waste into the sea according to Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Center. Tackling these interconnected issues quickly will take systemic change — and new ways of engaging and collaborating among stakeholders across the entire value chain — from policymakers and producers to consumers.
Minister of State with special responsibility for the Circular Economy and Communications, Ossian Smyth TD, has announced funding of €490,000 for 10 projects across Ireland under the first Circular Economy Innovation Grant Scheme (CEIGS). Creating a ‘circular economy’ is part of the move towards a more sustainable future, with a focus on reducing and eliminating waste and keeping resources in use for as long as possible. The CEIGS will help communities to make this transition across Ireland and allow the country to move towards a more sustainable future. Funding under this round of the CEIGS was initially set at €250,000. However, due to the overall quality of the successful applicants, and in line with the Department’s commitment to supporting the circular economy, Minster of State Smyth secured an additional €240,000 in funding. This has resulted in the CEIGS being able to support projects across the whole spectrum of the circular economy, from green construction to digital platforms for re-use.
UK-based fintech company Twig has launched a free banking app that allows users to trade their things for instant cash. By doing so, the company aims to contribute to the circular economy and ensure that items don’t make it to landfill. The process is fairly simple. All customers need to do is install the app and upload their unwanted possessions. Twig’s AI-powered algorithm then proceeds to calculate how much the things are worth. As soon as users accept the offer, they can cash out their items. The process aims to reduce the uncertainty, waiting, and irritation that is normally associated with selling unwanted items.
All companies need to have an adequate waste management solution. This involves making sure that they can manage all of their textile waste. Research has shown that around 120,000 tons of textile waste are recorded and produced per year in the US. Developing and building a fashion sector circular economy could alleviate the global textile waste. The concept, however, is impossible to achieve. Conor Hartman, the VP of the Circ business development department, said that the apparel industry was not fully taking responsibility. Among the fashion companies who talk about modifying or altering the landscape, only a few are making financial investments. But not all fashion companies are the same. Levi’s, for example, recently launched SecondHand, the company’s first-ever resale offering.
As circular economy thinking takes hold among policy makers, civil servants and scientists, policy is tending towards circular as a strategy to reach environmental objectives. Hopes are that production systems will continue to deliver and indeed grow economically, but with far less material and fossil energy intensity. The Swedish Government formed its own Circular Economy Delegation last year and recently announced its national strategy for the Circular Economy and 100 measures to transition to circularity. Policy needs to align, but this raises questions. The economy is a complex adaptive system, and any intervention may cause the opposite of the intended effects. This article explores my own very personal reflections based on earlier work together with my recent work with the local university.
How IRAs can solve Bitcoin’s capital gains tax problem, enable a Bitcoin standard and push the Bitcoin circular economy forward. In May 2021, I had just finished a pretty intense 12 months of helping take OC Bitcoin Network from a monthly meetup to a weekly meetup. In addition to the meetup work, over that same 12 months I independently consulted with over two dozen small businesses on how they could begin to implement Bitcoin payments and personally installed BTCPay Server at four brick-and-mortar restaurants as well as multiple e-commerce businesses. All of 2020 felt like a real grassroots war to me. It made me open my eyes to the fact that the circular economy is at hand. It made me realize that Bitcoin isn’t a thing that’s happening in the future. Bitcoin is a thing that’s happening right now.
The circular economy can be defined as an ideal, zero-waste economy where the materials we use every day follow a closed-loop, circular journey that starts with manufacturing and utilization and then moves into reuse, repair, redistribute, refurbish, remanufacture and sometimes compost. With a circular economy, everything comes back and is used again in one form or another, minimizing or completely eliminating landfills and incineration. The circular economy differs from the existing linear economy, where things are produced, used and then some things can be reused or recycled, but some things end up in the landfill, oceans or other places they don’t belong. Some types of plastics are especially problematic in terms of recycling, but increasingly, manufacturers are becoming more conscious of the materials they’re producing and using to ensure that they can either be recycled, reused or composted.