7 Rs Case Studies

  1. Rethink
    1. Coca-Cola
      • Coca-Cola rethought all of their pack­aging in order to decrease their envir­on­ment­al out­put. All cans and bottles are now either recyc­lable or con­tain recycled mater­i­al. This is in addi­tion to the com­pletely new devel­op­ment of Plant­Bottle™ in 2009; a new fully recyc­lable PET bottle that is made par­tially from a plant-based mater­i­al (up to 30% renew­able mater­i­als such as sug­ar­cane). Coca-Cola stated that by July 2016 they have dis­trib­uted more that 40 bil­lion of these bottles in 50 coun­tries and that this new devel­op­ment has elim­in­ated the equi­val­ent of more that 315,000 met­ric tons of Car­bon Diox­ide emis­sions from the PET plastic bottles. http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/blog/circular-economy-shaping-the-future-of-consumption
      • To find out more about this pack­aging devel­op­ment — http://www.coca-colacompany.com/plantbottle-technology
      • Coca-Cola does not only lim­it the innov­a­tion to pack­aging, they have also rethought their dis­tri­bu­tion pro­cess. This includes back­haul­ing, which ensures that there is nev­er an empty truck on the road, there­fore min­im­ising the amount of lor­ries needed and aim­ing to reduce the energy and car­bon foot­print of the dis­tri­bu­tion pro­cess. http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/stories/what-is-the-circular-economy-and-why-does-it-matter-to-coca-cola
    2. Skanska
      • Skanska have recently rethought their atti­tude to sus­tain­ab­il­ity and green ven­tures and now have a rat­ing scale of their pro­jects from Vanil­la to Green to Deep Green.
      • A Deep Green pro­ject achieves zero envir­on­ment­al impact on at least three of the six core areas: 
        1. net zero primary energy
        2. near-zero car­bon in con­struc­tion
        3. zero waste
        4. zero haz­ard­ous mater­i­als
        5. zero unsus­tain­able mater­i­als
        6. net zero water for build­ings and zero pot­able water for civil and infra­struc­ture con­struc­tion
      • Skanska’s first Deep Green Pro­ject was com­pleted in 2015 at the Bent­ley Works facil­ity in Don­caster. This facil­ity was built from sus­tain­able sources, as well as gen­er­at­ing its own elec­tri­city, har­vest­ing its water and has a near zero car­bon foot­print. As well as these achieve­ments no haz­ard­ous mater­i­als were used dur­ing the con­struc­tion and zero waste was sent to land­fill. http://www.skanska.co.uk/about-skanska/sustainability/green/how-we-measure-green/
    3. Toast Ale
      • Toast Ale uses leftover bread from sand­wich factor­ies and baker­ies in their brew­ing pro­cess. Toast Ale has rethought their brew­ing pro­cess to include this bread, cut­ting down on the amount of malt used by 40% as well as help­ing hop util­isa­tion. This also provides a unique mar­ket­ing point for the brew­ery.
      • http://www.toastale.com/bread-waste/
      • http://www.toastale.com
    4. MUD Jeans



  1. Redesign
    1. Agency of Design 
      • The Agency of Design looks at the implic­a­tions of cir­cu­lar design on products, and how they can be best designed for a cir­cu­lar eco­nomy. Pro­duct designs include a toast­er with end of life con­sid­er­a­tions included in the ini­tial design pro­cess. Three dif­fer­ent toast­ers were developed: The Optim­ist, The Prag­mat­ist and The Real­ist. Toast­ers are often not recycled – but rather placed into the house­hold bin; as they are small, gen­er­ally low value items that people are unwill­ing to make a spe­cial trip to a recyc­ling centre for.
      • The Optim­ist was designed to erad­ic­ate obsol­es­cence, as it is inten­ded to last for gen­er­a­tions. This toast­er is made from cast alu­mini­um with arms that rotate from the side rather than a com­plex pop­ping mech­an­ism. In addi­tion four bolts on the base provide access to the inside for easy replace­ment of ele­ments. The alu­mini­um used in the ini­tial pro­to­type was made of 100% recycled con­tent, there­fore cut­ting down on the use of raw mater­i­als.
      • The Prag­mat­ist was spe­cific­ally designed with a mod­u­lar design to con­nect the man­u­fac­turer and con­sumer, so if any ele­ment with­in the toast­er fails then the broken slot can be detached and returned to the man­u­fac­turer to be replaced and the unit will con­tin­ue to func­tion until the replace­ment arrives. The mod­ules are let­ter­box sized to try and encour­age return rather than simply put­ting the mod­ule in the bin. Each mod­ule can be put through the cycle nine times.
      • The Real­ist was a cheap­er toast­er and a closed loop solu­tion, with the cheapest dis­as­sembly meth­od pos­sible. This meth­od involved a small pel­let sit­ting next to a snap fit joint, which under vacu­um allows the non-destruct­ive sep­ar­a­tion of mater­i­als, and there­fore their reuse if pos­sible.
      • http://www.agencyofdesign.co.uk/projects/design-out-waste/




  1. RePack
    • RePack is a pack­aging rethink and a busi­ness mod­el redesign foun­ded in Fin­land. RePack aims to pro­mote pack­aging reuse on a mod­el much like the bottle depos­it scheme, and there­fore famil­i­ar to con­sumers. RePack pack­aging comes in three sizes and the mater­i­als used are 100% recycled and recyc­lable. The return pro­cess is made attract­ive by the addi­tion of a vouch­er delivered to your email address once the pack­aging has been returned. The return itself is free of charge and uses the postal sys­tem, avoid­ing an over­com­plic­ated and con­vo­luted pro­cess that may put the con­sumer off returns. Each piece of pack­aging is designed to be re-used at least 20 times, with some repor­ted as being used 50 times- there­fore cut­ting CO2 emis­sions for pack­aging pro­duc­tion by 80%.
    • There have been 50,000 RePack trans­ac­tions, with 30 web stores, mainly in Fin­land, offer­ing RePack as a pack­aging option.
    • https://www.originalrepack.com
  2. Ger­rard Street 
    • Ger­rard Street are a rel­at­ively new head­phone brand that bases its appeal on a monthly fee for head­phones rather than an upfront cost, these head­phones will be replaced and upgraded as needed for no extra cost. The monthly fee cov­ers the ini­tial pur­chase of the head­phones as well as acci­dent and dam­age cov­er and free upgrades when they become avail­able. This should decrease the num­ber of head­phones going to land­fill in favour of a new­er mod­el or if they are broken. The head­phones are mod­u­lar, there­fore repair and replace­ment of indi­vidu­al mod­ules is easy and pre­vents the entire unit from becom­ing defunct if one com­pon­ent breaks.
    • https://www.gerrardst.co.uk
  3. Thomas Leech- Shoey Shoes 
    • Although still at a con­cept and design stage this is a rethink and redesign of both shoe design and the sup­ply chain sur­round­ing children’s shoes. This con­cept has two design ele­ments:
      1. That leather offcuts from the fash­ion industry can be used to develop a range of children’s shoes.
      2. These shoes are engin­eered for dis­as­sembly so that the valu­able parts can be re-used or recycled. There­fore once they are out­grown they can be returned to the man­u­fac­turer and the parts reused wherever pos­sible. This cuts down on the amount of vir­gin mater­i­als used.
    • http://thomasleech.co.uk/#/shoey-shoes/


  1. Repur­pose, Reuse and Share
    1. Coca-Cola
    2. Ikea
      • Ikea runs sev­er­al schemes that repur­pose and reuse mater­i­als. The KUNGSBACKA kit­chen front is made from 100% recycled FSC® cer­ti­fied wood and PET-Bottles. The KUGGIS stor­age box is made from recycled PET plastic bottles.
      • Ikea have also used glass that has been rejec­ted due to defects and bubbles to cre­ate the IKEA PS 2017 vase, this glass has been re-melted and re-blown to cre­ate into new items. This re-use has lowered the waste and saves raw mater­i­al resources.
      • The TÅNUM rug is made from recycled cot­ton from with­in the Ikea pro­duc­tion pro­cess, over 90% of the cot­ton used was from leftover fab­ric from bed lin­in pro­duc­tion that would have oth­er­wise been dis­carded.
      • http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/this-is-ikea/people-planet/energy-resources/waste/
    3. Loop­t­works
      • Loop­t­works is based in Portland, Ore­gon and aims to up-cycle or re-pur­pose aban­doned, pre-con­sumer and post-con­sumer mater­i­als into lim­ited edi­tion desir­able products. They use excess mater­i­als from industry – sav­ing the mater­i­al from incin­er­a­tion or land­fill. Upcyc­ling saves nat­ur­al resources, which are lim­ited, and cuts down on water intens­ive pro­duc­tion pro­cesses – such as that of treat­ing and tan­ning leather.
      • Loop­t­works have worked with Portland Trail Blazers to repur­pose obsol­ete jer­seys. Both South­west and Alaska Air­lines recently refur­bished their planes, and as a res­ult of this seat leather was redund­ant. Loop­t­works repur­posed this seat leather into bags and oth­er accessor­ies, thus pre­vent­ing the waste of still useable leather.
      • https://www.looptworks.com/
    4. Levi Strauss & Co 
      • Levi Strauss & Co are rethink­ing the life­cycle of their jeans, from a lin­er pro­gres­sion to a cir­cu­lar eco­nomy mind­set. They aim to help divert clothes from land­fill via a recyc­ling pro­gram­me and instead have them re-used as insu­la­tion for build­ings, cush­ion­ing mater­i­al and new fibers for cloth­ing. The over­all aim is to cre­ate a closed loop sys­tem for Levi Strauss & Co products.
      • http://levistrauss.com/unzipped-blog/2015/07/embracing-the-circular-economy/
    5. I:CO
      • Works with part­ners includ­ing, but not lim­ited to, H&M, M&S and The North Face to help pro­mote recyc­ling schemes of cloth­ing to pre­vent land­fill and pro­mote sus­tain­ab­il­ity and envir­on­ment­ally friendly life­style, with closed loop schemes.
      • They col­lect shoes and clothes and then sort them to either reuse or recycle in order to ensure max­im­um use of these valu­able mater­i­als. I:CO oper­ate in more than 60 coun­tries
      • http://www.ico-spirit.com/en/referenzen/
      • http://www.ico-spirit.com/en/company/
    6. Nike Grind
      • Nike Grind oper­ates as part of the Reuse-A-Shoe cam­paign, a repur­pos­ing scheme for any old ath­let­ic shoes run by Nike. The shoes are repur­posed into three dis­tinct mater­i­als. Firstly, Nike Grind Rub­ber which is made from the out­sole and is used in track sur­faces, inter­lock­ing gym floor tiles and play­ground sur­fa­cing. Secondly, Nike Grind Foam made from the mid­sole, which is used as a cush­ion for out­door bas­ket­ball, ten­nis courts and fields. Thirdly, Nike Grind Fiber made from the fab­ric upper and used for ath­let­ic-sur­face pad­ding and eques­tri­an sur­fa­cing mater­i­al. Nike Grind has been in place since the early 1990s.
      • http://www.nikegrind.com/how-its-made


  1. Repair
    1. iFix­it
      • iFix­it was foun­ded in Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and aims to have repair manu­als and how-to guides for repair­ing mod­ern tech­no­logy that doesn’t come with repair guides as stand­ard. This means that devices have a longer lifespan and stay out of land­fill for longer, as con­sumers can repair their items for less money than it would take to replace them. https://www.ifixit.com/Info/background
    2. The Restart Pro­ject
      • The Restart Pro­ject is a Char­it­able Incor­por­ated Organ­isa­tion (CIO), which works with com­munit­ies, schools, and com­pan­ies to encour­age people to use elec­tron­ics for longer, thus extend­ing the lifespans of the indi­vidu­al devices. The pro­ject attempts to pre­vent elec­tron­ic waste when at all pos­sible, for example by help­ing people to learn how to fix their own elec­tron­ics, giv­ing them more of a sense of own­er­ship over their gad­gets. https://therestartproject.org/about/
    3. Cloth­ing
      • Love Your Clothes is a cam­paign launched in 2014 to help change the way that UK con­sumers buy, use and dis­pose of cloth­ing. This cam­paign aims to reduce the waste and envir­on­ment­al impact of cloth­ing and help to influ­ence the cre­ation of a cir­cu­lar eco­nomy mind­set. The Love Your Clothes web­site has a spe­cific Care & Repair Sec­tion (http://loveyourclothes.org.uk/care-repair). This sec­tion includes tips for Wash­ing, Dry­ing and Iron­ing, Repair and Alter­a­tions and Stain Removal. By help­ing con­sumers fully under­stand the best way to care for and repair their gar­ments they last longer. The Love Your Clothes web­site also has sec­tions for Refash­ion & Upcycle, and what to do with Unwanted Clothes. There­fore this web­site, and the wider pro­ject, cer­tainly embody many of the cir­cu­lar eco­nomy ideals.
    4. Reman­u­fac­ture
      1. Dulux Com­munity RePaint 
        • Com­munity RePaint is a scheme sponsored by Dulux that aims to give leftover paint a new lease of life. This elim­in­ates waste and encour­ages people to think about leftover paint in a new way, rather than simply dis­pos­ing of it or let­ting it linger in the back of cup­boards. In 2015 the first paint reman­u­fac­tur­ing plant was opened in March, Cam­bridge­shire – this plant pro­cesses leftover paint for com­munity groups and fam­il­ies on low income.
        • https://communityrepaint.org.uk/the-uks-paint-reuse-network/
      2. Cam­bridge­shire Com­munity Reuse & Recyc­ling Net­work
        • CCORRN works in con­junc­tion with Dulux on the Com­munity RePaint Scheme in Cam­bridge­shire.
        • http://www.ccorrn.org.uk
      3. Per­kins Engines 
        • Per­kins Engines has a stand­ard oper­at­ing pro­ced­ure in place in which they reg­u­larly sal­vage and reman­u­fac­ture old parts. They return products at the end of life to an as-new con­di­tion, thereby redu­cing own­ing and oper­a­tion costs, as these refur­bished parts cost sig­ni­fic­antly less than a brand new part but still carry the full 12 month war­ranty.
        • There is a triple bene­fit all round from using reman­u­fac­tured parts. 
          1. It is good for cus­tom­ers because Per­kins reman­u­fac­tured parts and com­pon­ents provide the same as-new per­form­ance and reli­ab­il­ity at frac­tion-of-new costs—while redu­cing their impact on the envir­on­ment.
          2. It is good for the busi­ness because the reman­u­fac­tur­ing pro­gram­me is based on an exchange sys­tem where cus­tom­ers return a used com­pon­ent (core) in return for reman­u­fac­tured products giv­ing cus­tom­ers another buy­ing choice and ser­vice option for their Per­kins engine.
          3. It is good for the envir­on­ment because Per­kins and its par­ent com­pany recycle almost 55,000 met­ric ton­nes of end-of-life iron annu­ally, redu­cing waste and min­im­ising the need for raw mater­i­al to pro­duce new parts. Through reman­u­fac­tur­ing, we keep non-renew­able resources in cir­cu­la­tion for mul­tiple life­times.
        • Gen­er­al man­u­fac­tur­ing industry val­ues for reman­u­fac­tured parts indic­ate sav­ings in the range of: 
          1. 80% less energy
          2. 88% less water
  • 92% few­er chem­ic­al products
  1. 70% less waste pro­duc­tion.
  1. Ther­maGroup
    • Ther­maGroup pro­duces reman­u­fac­tured air con­di­tion­ing and refri­ger­a­tion units. Ther­maGroup con­sists of Ther­ma­Con, Ther­maO­zone and Therma­Parts. All three areas deal with reman­u­fac­tur­ing, with Ther­ma­Con actu­ally reman­u­fac­tur­ing, Ther­maO­zone hand­ling the day to day run­ning of the reman­u­fac­tured machines, and finally Therma­Parts offer­ing both new and reman­u­fac­tured parts to the HVAC (Heat­ing, Vent­il­a­tion and Air Con­di­tion­ing) Industry.
    • Ther­ma­Com has been run­ning for 20 years and has prac­tic­al and tech­nic­al exper­i­ence in reman­u­fac­tur­ing Screw Com­pressors, Semi-Her­met­ic and Scroll refri­ger­a­tion com­pressors.
    • http://www.thermagroup.com/products/compressors
    • http://www.thermagroup.com/thermagroup/about-us


  1. Recycle
    1. Marmax
      • Marmax Recycled Products is based in the North of England and they pro­duce recycled plastic products. They use recycled plastic bottles to make play­ground equip­ment and out­door fur­niture. They have saved an estim­ated 6 mil­lion plastic bottles from land­fill in the first 4 months of 2017. The products cre­ated are infin­itely recyc­lable so could poten­tially avoid land­fill almost indef­in­itely. The plastic play­ground equip­ment and out­door fur­niture requires less main­ten­ance than tra­di­tion­al wood and oth­er mixed mater­i­al objects, there­fore the recycled plastic products are more attract­ive to the con­sumer – as they provide an envir­on­ment­al bene­fit as well as a longer life span.
      • http://www.recoup.org/p/295/marmax-recycled-products
    2. Renault
      • Renault oper­ates in 125 coun­tries, and sold more than 3 mil­lion vehicles in 2016. Renault has star­ted to pur­sue short-loop recyc­ling as a solu­tion for end of life vehicles. The pro­gram­me is called Innov­at­ive CAR REcyc­ling 95% (ICARRE 95), and the ulti­mate goal is to become a closed loop sys­tem with mater­i­als from end of life vehicles being recycled into new vehicles at the same level as those derived from raw mater­i­als.
      • The Short Loop mech­an­ism recycles raw mater­i­als such as steel, cop­per, and tex­tiles. Cur­rently 36% of a new Renault vehicle pro­duced in Europe is from recycled mater­i­als; in addi­tion 85% of an end of life vehicle is recyc­lable.
      • https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/case-studies/short-loop-recycling-of-plastics-in-vehicle-manufacturing
    3. Jag­uar Land Rover (Range Rover) 
    4. RUMI X
      • Rumi X is a fit­ness and well­ness cloth­ing brand that uses both plastic bottles and cof­fee grounds. Plastic bottles are shred­ded, melted and dried into flakes, which are then pulled into yarn. Rumi X also extracts oil from the grounds of used cof­fee, this is then used to elim­in­ate odour without the use of high energy and tem­per­at­ure car­bon­isa­tion. The mater­i­al formed from the oil is shaped into small pel­lets and then used with the recycled thread to be spun into yarn.
      • https://rumixfeelgood.com/pages/sustainability-our-fabrics
    5. Norton Point
      • Norton Point man­u­fac­ture sunglasses made from recovered HDPE found in oceans. HDPE is used in many con­sumer products and over 8 mil­lion ton­nes of this mater­i­al enters the oceans every year. The plastic from the oceans is pro­cessed into plastic pel­lets that is then formed into sunglasses, with a con­tri­bu­tion of the profit from the sale of the sunglasses being re-inves­ted into clean ups with their part­ner Ocean Con­servancy.
      • https://www.nortonpoint.com/pages/impact
    6. Bio-Bean
      • Bio-Bean was foun­ded in 2013 to provide an indus­tri­al solu­tion to the pro­cess of recyc­ling waste cof­fee grounds into bio­chem­ic­al and bio­fuels. Bio-Bean estim­ate that the UK pro­duces 500,000 ton­nes of cof­fee grounds every year – which pro­duce meth­ane (a Green­house Gas) in land­fill. http://www.bio-bean.com/about-us/
      • Bio-Bean makes four dis­tinct products out of the cof­fee grounds – Cof­fee Logs (a fuel source that replaces a log or char­coal bri­quette in stoves, fires and chimineas), Biod­ies­el, Bio­chem­ic­als and Bio­mass Pel­lets. http://www.bio-bean.com/products/
      • By oper­at­ing at on mul­ti-level basis from inde­pend­ent cafés to major cof­fee chains or instant cof­fee factor­ies, Bio-Bean can make a real impact on redu­cing the amount of cof­fee grounds going to land­fill. The Cof­fee Logs are pro­duced in Cam­bridge­shire.





  1. Recov­er
    1. Energy Recov­ery Facil­ity, Peter­bor­ough


  1. Brit­ish Sug­ar, Wiss­ing­ton
  1. Veolia
    • In Rain­ham, Essex Veolia oper­ate a Plastic Recov­ery Facil­ity (PRF). The PRF allows mixed use plastic to be sor­ted using high tech equip­ment that can sort up to nine poly­mers and col­ours. Mixed plastic recyc­ling has the poten­tial to save over 300,000 ton­nes of CO2 per year In the UK, how­ever, cur­rently under half of this poten­tial is being real­ised due to a lack of facil­it­ies and aware­ness. A PRF allows a closed loop sys­tem to be estab­lished, it encour­ages mixed plastic recyc­ling and it reduces car­bon emis­sions by decreas­ing the amount of vir­gin mater­i­als used.
    • https://www.veolia.co.uk/sites/g/files/dvc636/f/assets/documents/2014/10/PRF_factsheet.pdf