It can feel daunting to take on shifting something as big as global material consumption and as aspirational as a truly circular economy, but everyday choices by individuals have a multiplier effect.

The first step in shifting from a linear economy to the circular economy is to educate yourself and be tenaciously curious wherever you see a waste stream. This can be as simple as checking garbage bins to see what kind of waste exists and questioning where it came from, where it’s going, and how it will impact us all.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you see a linear process creating waste in your organization:

  • What is the material being wasted? How much waste is generated, and at what rate?
  • Is it a single-material waste (wood pallets, styrofoam, cardboard boxes, metal strapping, etc.) or a multi-material waste (plastic-coated cardboard, multi-layer reflective film, steel-reinforced concrete, etc.)? If it is multi-material, is there a single-material alternative?
  • Where in the upstream process is the waste material generated? If it comes from a vendor or supplier, do you have enough visibility into their processes to determine where it is being generated?
  • Is the wasted material even necessary; could it be eliminated from the process? Is there an alternative material that would be more durable, reusable, or at least recyclable?
  • How does the waste impact you, other employees, customers, and/or the company? What are the costs to store it, manage it, and dispose of it? Are there any safety or regulatory compliance issues associated with this waste?

The answers to these questions will help you gain an understanding into upstream processes and quantify the impact of waste within your business.

Depending on your responses, you may determine the need for a more comprehensive waste audit and/or decide to partner with a third-party organization to establish an independently verified baseline, which can help you receive additional support for minimizing waste.

But, it is quite possible that you will discover solutions to prevent some waste streams entirely on your own—and possibly even influence vendors in your supply chain to do the same!

Towards a More Circular World

By now, you have a greater appreciation for the ubiquity of waste in all its forms—including its harmful effects. However, it’s not all doom and gloom; this is a very expansive time for the circular economy for many reasons.

More people are now aware of the global waste challenges that impact us all—thanks, in part, to the increased attention on ocean plastics, the growing Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the poor sea turtle who took a straw to the nose. You can’t watch that viral video and not rethink the way you sip a beverage and your relationship with single-use plastics.

Additionally, the pressure is on businesses and governments to do more and work together more effectively. Although regulation was already underway prior to 2018, China’s National Sword Policy went into effect that year and uncovered recycling’s dirty secrets. The impact radiated globally and accelerated the urgency to find a more sustainable solution to our consumption habits and waste problems.

All this pressure translates into innovation, investment, and collaboration. The growth of circular business models has been exploding in recent years and consumers are here for it, especially in Europe.

Our smartphones are providing incredible access—both as consumers and as entrepreneurs—for circular models of material use.

How Mobile reCell’s Software-Driven Solution Can Help You Participate in the Circular Economy

Mobile reCell is an excellent example of how technology is enabling and accelerating the circular economy.

Our platform disrupts a linear model, increases transparency, and provides environmental impact data while maintaining the highest value of the materials in mobile devices.

By improving a traditionally linear or recycling-only approach, Mobile reCell closes the loop while providing a convenient solution with a return on investment.

“Our software-driven solution is designed to ensure circularity and sustainability are at the forefront of our customers’ mobility strategies. We provide a modern approach to IT asset recovery that prioritizes the reuse of retired IT assets. Every year, more IT leaders are responsible for tying technology to sustainability initiatives, and reducing their mobility program’s environmental impact is a great place to start. Mobile reCell is excited to be the software provider to help them do just that.”
– Ben Jones, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mobile reCell 

Wherever waste exists, there is an opportunity for a more circular solution.

If you have questions about how to get started reducing waste, recovering more value, and creating a more sustainable solution with your mobile devices, chat with us.

We’d love to help you learn, explore, and help make the world more circular for the benefit of people, your profits, and the planet!


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See Mobile reCell’s Recovery Platform in action.