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What is Circular Economy?

Posted October 1, 2020

You have probably heard about the standard 3 R’s of sustainability: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. However, are you familiar with the other 3 R’s? Companies must invest in a concerted effort to Redesign, Remanufacture and Recover products, packaging and other items. There has been an increase in corporate social responsibility programs as companies of all sizes try to reduce the negative impact of their operations waste on the environment. However, the focus has primarily been on Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. While still necessary, these efforts are not enough to achieve the results we’re striving for as businesses, individuals or society.

In order to move the needle, we as a society need to think outside the box. To be more precise, we need to embrace and apply a Circular Economy model – one that meets all environmental sustainability standards by:

  • Conducting proper recycling of products that are no longer usable
  • Refurbishing products that can be used by another user
  • Extending the life cycle of products, packaging and other items that are headed for a landfill without proper intervention

To help explain the potential impact that a Circular Economy Program can have on the environment, your business and ours, we have included a roundtable discussion with two Zebra Technologies experts on the Your Edge podcast.

Before you hear what Jenna Stanley, Vice President of Global Support & Managed Services, and Rose Ranker, Vice President of Services Product Management and Application Development, have to say, it may help to have a little background on the origins of the Circular Economy model.

Than and Now: How and Why the Circular Economy Model Has Evolved Over the Last Several Centuries

Though there is no clear origin date, we do know that the idea of circularity and cycles within systems has ancient roots within philosophy. We also know that, if designed and executed correctly, the circular economy can elicit the regenerative development of businesses with both economic and environmental benefits. Once the economic activity of an organization is built, it can then be continuously rebuilt by keeping products and materials in use through the ideals of recovery, refurbishment and, in some cases, redesign.

Perhaps that’s why “practical applications to modern economic systems and industrial processes…have gained momentum since the late 1970s,” and why the circular economy has been a subject of conversation and innovation in the decades since.

Some say that the first significant signs of the circular economy were seen in Germany in the early 1990s as issues regarding natural resource and raw material use and waste arose. Others claim that the concept really began to grow in the late 1990s in China after former Chinese politician Hu Jintao introduced the concept in line with his “harmonious society” initiative emphasizing waste recycling.

In reality, though, this idea didn’t come onto the radar of most companies until the 2000s once societal interest in sustainability started to grow. Even then, action wasn’t immediate – at least not on a mass scale. We can confirm it is now imminent, though.

According to Supply Chain Management Review, 70% of supply chain leaders are preparing to invest in the circular economy within the next year. They need to find alternative ways to meet seasonal demand for new and current product development without dramatically increasing their carbon footprint or causing undue waste. Circular economy models widely support initiatives geared toward fighting the impact of climate change, as they encourage and implement proper techniques in support of all 6Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle, redesign, remanufacture and recover.

Barcodes, Inc. and Zebra Technologies are consistently and actively encouraging awareness of the climate crisis, which remains an extremely critical environmental issue. In July 2020, Barcodes, Inc. sent out an educational newsletter from the Environmental Wellness Team that educated employees on waste hierarchy, all the R’s, allowed individuals to share pictures of plants they had in their respective homes. On Earth Day 2020, Zebra Technologies encouraged their employees to mobilize around the Earth Day Network’s global theme of Climate Action. Now, we are taking it one step further by encouraging our customers to take their own “climate action” by participating in the newly implemented Circular Economy Program.

Check out why Zebra Technologies implemented a full-scale Circular Economy Program, how it works and the impact that it will have on both the environment and our mutual business economics. Listen to the conversation between Jenna Stanley and Rose Ranker below:

Global Technology Systems Takes the Lead for Earth Day: A Free Recycling Program

Posted April 19, 2018

GTS earth day 300x274Today, April 22, is Earth day and it’s time to return the love to the planet we all call home. Thanks to Global Technology Systems (GTS) they will be providing a Lithium-Ion Battery Recycling program.

You may be asking yourself why do I need to recycle my batteries? Well, Lithium-Ion batteries consist primarily of chemicals and metals which in turn allow the battery to hold a long charge and remain light at the same time. These chemicals and metals consist of lithium, cobalt, and other materials that can be extremely harmful to the environment we live in. The improper disposal of these batteries as trash leads to water contamination, soil contamination, and among other things negative environmental/health outcomes.

The Recycling Process:

  • GTS will provide customers involved in the program with free battery recycling boxes at each enrolled facility.
  • Once the battery recycling box is filled, simply call the toll-free phone number on the box and it will be picked-up and properly disposed of by a GTS-certified recycling firm.
  • Once a recycling box has been provided to the recycling firm another recycling box will be provided to continue this free service.

Help make our Earth a better place to live, recycle the batteries that help power all of your mobile operations.

For more information on how to start recycling those Lithium-Ion Batteries please Contact Us!