A famous chemist in the 18th century by the name of Antoine Lavoisier once said, “nothing is lost, nothing is created. Everything is transformed” (1). This concept, as poetic as it may sound and traditionally referenced in cultural and spiritual contexts, does have scientific grounds which Western society has largely ignored since the Industrial Revolution (2). As a consequence of this neglect, we have created an international pollution problem.
Since roughly the 1900s, the end-of-life for products was not thoroughly considered by the average consumer since products disappeared when thrown away (3). Today, we see that there is no “away” for our waste, but rather that waste sticks around and harms our environment (4). This realization has forced us to look back at the concept Chemist Lavoisier highlighted, and to explore how we can stop this take-make-waste model. Re-branded as the “circular economy”, some brands are bringing this concept to life by creating products and services that eliminate waste. One such company is one of Spud.ca’s favourite vendors: Loop.
What are Linear vs. Circular Economies?
A linear economy is where natural resources are extracted to create products or services for a single purpose, and then discarded after use (5). A circular economy extracts regenerative resources and designs products and services that can continuously be reused, repaired, or their materials can be naturally recycled back into the environment (6).
How is Loop designing out waste?
The concept of the circular economy can also be applied to how we manage food. Right now, Canadian’s waste roughly 63% of food produced (7). If this wasted food is not re-purposed, it can be harmful to our environment. Loop addresses this concern by rescuing unwanted food that would otherwise end up in a landfill and turn it into healthy and tasty juice!
To clarify the juice company is not made up of “dumpster divers that rummage through your neighbour’s garbage bin, nor do [they] use hairy food left on the shelves of your local market” to collect the food for their juices (8). Rather, they partner with food retailers to rescue food that is still edible but cannot be sold due to produce deformities or other reasons.
Rescued produce is washed and pressed to create locally-made,nutrient-rich juices in a variety of flavours! To date, Loop has rescued 3,463 tons of fruit & vegetables, avoided 2,789 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and saved 288,136,609 liters of water (9).
And that’s not all! Loop is even improving the “circularity” of the bottles that their juice comes in! In April of this year, this juice company will be using bottles that are made of recycled plastic. By doing this, the company is providing a second life for plastics that already exist.
- (1) Wikipedia. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Lavoisier
- (2) Miret, Santiago. “The future of manufacturing: From linear to circular.” UC Berkley Blog. https://blogs.berkeley.edu/2014/02/24/the-future-of-manufacturing-from-linear-to-circular-2/
- (3) Ibid.
- (4) Romero Mosquera, Marcela. “Banning Plastic Straws: The Beginning of the War Against Plastics.” Environmental and Earth Law Journal (EELJ) 9.1 (2019): 1.
- (5) “Concept: What is the circular economy?” Ellen Macarthur Foundation. https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy/concept
- (6) Love Food Hate Waste Canada. https://lovefoodhatewaste.ca/about/food-waste/
- (8) Loop. https://loopmission.com/
- (9) Ibid.