Clemence Schmid, Executive VP Commercial Loop Global at TerraCycle, shares how recycling is key when it comes to circularity
What do you see being the greatest opportunity or barrier to plastics circularity?
The greatest opportunity is also the biggest potential barrier – convenience. Our research has shown that consumers may aspire to sacrifice convenience, but they never actually do it, not en mass and not consistently. That’s where a lot of reuse models struggle and become a little bit more aspirational than mainstream. They may ask the consumer to clean and fill the bottle themselves. It is also why Loop has had good momentum. Our central mantra at Loop is that you have to maintain or at least get as close to the convenience afforded by disposability as absolutely possible.
How is innovation enabling the move toward circular systems? Which initiatives or technologies are you most excited about?
Innovation has been a central part of the Loop’s journey. Working with our partners to develop durable package we realized that they offered not only a more sustainable solution but also a huge opportunity to delight consumers in ways that are not possible in single use where the package is a COGS. We saw beautiful design, more premium materials and even functional upgrade – all of those enabled by moving to a durable packaging.
What are your favourite examples of circularity in action?
There is nothing better than buying a product that is made from recycled material or incorporates material from an unusual source like ocean or beach plastics.
And from a reuse perspective, seeing Loop’s rapid growth; seeing businesses and consumers receive it so well globally is exciting. It is not merely circularity in action, but innovation that can change the world. While a reuse model, Loop is more than that. Its intent is to provide the service as conveniently and as ubiquitously as possible with the mantra being “buy anywhere, return anywhere.”
Why is the Rethinking Materials summit an important date in your diary? Who are you looking forward to meeting?
Because its all about innovation, partnership and collaboration.
With such a great line up of sessions and speakers and like-minded delegates all focused on changing the way business is done, I’m excited to hear from and talk with as many like-minded entrepreneurs as possible.
Clemence will join Carrefour on the panel ‘Reduction and Reuse: Developing Business Models to Unlock Economic and Ecological Opportunities’ at Rethinking Materials on May 4-5. View the full agenda.