A recent study conducted in Costa Rica indicates that we can eliminate $188,000,000 worth of single-use packaging (cardboard boxes, plastic bags, wooden pallets) in their banana sector alone. This is part of an ongoing cost/benefit analysis that we are conducting to verify the efficacy of our new patented system as it applies to the Circular Economy (ISO MC/TC 323) for which our CEO is a lead expert with the Standards Council of Canada. The ISO’s direction so far seems to be focused on ways to build products that are easily recycled and this is certainly an important aspect of the circular concept, but it might be argued that this puts the proverbial cart before the horse. If a company is to start designing their products to be more easily recyclable, then their financial analysis would probably start by determining if they can retrieve these products cost effectively enough to justify undertaking such a strategy in the first place. Circular Supply Chains Inc. has been studying circular economics for quite some time now and have come to realize that it is our current supply and reverse chain processes that limit our ability to develop an effective and efficient circular economy.

We handled reverse logistics for Walmart for fifteen years and it is from that experience that we are developing a new system to address this problem. Until our reverse chains are as well developed as our supply chains it will be difficult to ever envision a true circular economy. The supply and reverse chains need to be married into a single cyclical system that combines the supply and reverse chains into one to minimize further environmental degradation and this is exactly what our new system accomplishes. This can help to eliminate empty back hauls (trucks returning empty after delivery) and partial loads to cut GHG emissions from truck traffic by more than 50%. Our current systems have our supply trucks returning empty after delivery and the trucks we use to return end-of-life products leave their depot when they’re completely empty and then return full. There is currently available space for both the supply and return trips and yet neither is being utilized. Empty back hauls should be used to return end-of-life merchandise because it’s wasted space otherwise and the trucks that leave their depot empty to pick up end-of-life merchandise should utilize that empty space to make deliveries. Our new system can do both simultaneously.
We chose bananas as our first business use case but our system is applicable to any supply and reverse chains. In our view, developing this new system appears to be a much quicker path to a functioning circular economy that has the cost of recovery justifying new designs for circularity. A cost effective recovery system sets the stage for circularity and invites new product designs that can capitalize on our already efficient system for end-of-life product recovery and redistribution.