GeneraCycle began using the “start by starting” approach in which it selected an item to “GeneraCycle.” At its inception, in 2009, GeneraCycle took a single coffee cup and diverted it from the landfill. Since that date, various uses were found for coffee cups including, but not limited to coffee cup wallets, coffee cup notebooks, and even our business cards are from coffee cups.
One of our very first programs logged 14,000km and diverted tons of compost from landfill all on a single bicycle. Yes, we won an award for doing it.
Although all very small steps, hundreds more were to follow, collectively establishing the GeneraCycle platform available today. By taking what it learned, GeneraCycle realized that infrastructure, points of collection, systems, innovation, sourcing of value, and product development is necessary to prevent materials from going to landfill. GeneraCycle believes that by continually applying this process that other items could also avoid being sent to landfill.
The culmination of these efforts resulted in GeneraCycle launching the world’s first local human-powered 100% Closed Loop Vermicompost Program. The program transports organic waste on bicycles and uses worms, in a local facility, to produce worm castings and then uses these castings to enrich local soils. Not only did the program emit zero greenhouse gas from its efforts, the program, in fact, sequestered carbon. GeneraCycle believes we must collectively commoditize ALL items being sent to landfill by being mindful of all the stages of collection. GeneraCycle has taken what it has learned and is working to influence producers to create smarter products and diversion methods, but it cannot do it alone.
While this approach is not new, GeneraCycle is aligning itself so that it may help to build the necessary infrastructure to allow for the execution of what many others are proposing. One such group is PAC NEXT, in which GeneraCycle is a member. Founded by the likes of Walmart, General Mills, Norampac and Loblaws, PAC NEXT will focus on optimizing, mobilizing and mitigating risk for end-of-life solutions and for packaging design. It is by using the “start by starting” approach, in conjunction with its corporate partners, customers and supporters, that GeneraCycle will be well positioned to deliver a 100% landfill free globe by 2040.