Eco-Train brings wireless accessory brands, distributors and retailers together to eliminate waste generated by the wireless industry.
The Government of Canada has confirmed that plastic pollution is everywhere in the environment, including on shorelines, in surface waters, sediment, soil, groundwater, indoor and outdoor air, drinking water, and food. The linear economic model of “take, make, use, waste” is no longer viable.
Here we are, heading into Year 3 of the Phone Case Recovery program. In year 1, Eco-Train had 3 brands, 1 distributor, and 280 retail locations working together to implement a more circular economy for the wireless industry. In year 2, the program grew considerably with 11 brands, 3 distributors and 650 retail locations all sharing the responsibility of cleaning up the mess. So far, Eco-Train and program partners have eliminated 63,480 lbs. of plastic waste. It’s a decent start, but we still have a long way to go. It’s going to take a lot more organizations, and consumers getting on board to make the dream of #WasteFreeFuture a reality!
This year Eco-Train aims to eliminate 1,000,000 lbs. of plastic and electronic waste from the wireless industry.
Phones, tablets and smart-watches
Phone and tablet cases
Data cables, charging hubs and portable chargers.
Mounts and screen protectors/screen protector trays
The Turning Point report may be the most important document ever prepared by Canadian sustainability experts aimed at solving the global plastic pollution crisis. The report was prepared by The Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada. It was commissioned by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) and sponsored by Environment and Climate Change Canada. This report offers guidance on how the Canadian government and Canadian industry must transition away from the traditional “take-make-use-waste” linear economy toward a more sustainable, circular economy.
The project was undertaken with the approval of the Board of Directors of the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA). Board members are drawn from the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), the Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS), as well as from the general public. The members of the Expert Panel responsible for the report were selected by CCA for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report was prepared in response to a request from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Humanity’s current level of consumption is exceeding Earth’s ability to sustain it. In the current “take-make-use-waste” linear economy, raw materials are extracted to produce goods that are used and then discarded as waste. Though much of what we discard still holds value, just a small portion of materials is cycled back into the economy. The vast majority ends up in landfills, incinerated, or is released into the environment.
The linear economic model of “take, make, use, waste” is no longer viable. Although it has generated an enormous amount of wealth, it has also contributed to excessive extraction of natural resources and accumulation of waste. The linear production system is pushing the planet past its ecological limits and regenerative abilities. As well, it is exacerbating social injustices through the inequitable impact of pollution and distribution of wealth.
The Turning Point report presents a positive alternative for Canada to move forward in addressing these environmental, social, and economic challenges. The circular economy has the ability not only to ease the ecological crisis, but also to create jobs and mitigate social injustices, while allowing Canada to remain economically competitive. The circular economy is increasingly viewed as a desirable future for all economies, and Canada is well positioned to make the transition by coupling a national strategy with regional ventures.
Interest in the circular economy is exploding, and its body of work is growing rapidly.
The circular economy is an imperative. Only 6.1% of materials entering the Canadian economy come from recycled sources. This statistic warrants a pause. It means that Canada requires the extraction or import of new material to meet almost 94% of its manufacturing needs, with most material accumulating as either passive infrastructure or as waste. For Canada to maintain its strong economy and global competitiveness, meet its commitments to reducing carbon emissions and maintaining biodiversity, and keep its people prosperous and healthy, it is critical that Canada’s economy to become more circular.
The circular economy calls for systems change. Given the obvious benefits of the circular economy, we may ask why Canada’s economy is not more circular. This is because transitioning from a linear economy to a circular one requires most economic and social systems to change. Governments will need to embrace innovative policy measures and to coordinate the collection, pricing, and reuse of waste across all levels and jurisdictions. Businesses will need to adopt new business models and rework their supply chains. People will need to consume, use, reuse, and access services in new ways. As well, the circular economy will inevitably create winners and losers, and such shifts are especially difficult in an economy that is grounded in natural resource extraction. However, these systems can be changed—not through the action of any single actor, but by everyone coming together and playing a part.
Interest in the circular economy is exploding, and its body of work is growing rapidly.
The circular economy is urgent. As this report was going to print, the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Sixth Assessment Report, which was called “code red for humanity” by the UN Secretary-General. The climate is changing at a faster rate than previously reported, and northern countries, such as Canada, will experience particularly severe impacts. Climate change is attributable to industrial production and the use and discharge of fossil fuels. It is not only imperative that Canada’s economy become more circular, but that it do so quickly.
Some of the most pressing policy challenges facing society today have to do with the state of the planet. Climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and stress on water and other resources may be environmental issues as we typically think of them, but their impacts are not isolated to just the environment. They affect every aspect of business and life.
There is growing awareness and engagement among various government departments and other stakeholders that solutions to these issues will require collaborative approaches and that siloed methods are no longer viable. The circular economy is a paradigm example of this multi-pronged approach. It necessitates participation from all sectors, including governments, businesses, and civil society.
Turning Point, provides an overview of the circular economy and its current state in Canada, including some of the tools and approaches for measuring it in practice.
Source – Turning Point – The Expert Panel on the Circular Economy
The Plastics Recycling Conference is the largest North American gathering of plastics recycling and sustainability professionals, annually bringing together more than 2,000 industry decision-makers. I attended the conference aiming to better understand the current state of the recycling industry in America and get a sense of where things are going between now and 2030. Here’s what I discovered.
Developing collection systems for used unwanted plastics of all types is critical if we are to have any chance at solving the global plastic pollution crisis. Regardless of the industry, supply chain stakeholders (brands, distributors and retailers) across the board must work together to develop material recovery programs to eliminate plastic waste. A radical systems change away from the traditional “take, make, use, dispose” way of doing things must happen, and it must happen fast! Part of the solution rests in understanding what materials are problematic but necessary, and figuring out how to deal with these materials in a sustainable, circular way. The other part of the solution is establishing collection methods that are simple, effective and affordable so that consumers find it easy to send plastics back into the circular economy for another life. The idea of waste itself needs to become outdated and obsolete. Mindlessly throwing things in the garbage, regardless of the material, must change and it must change fast. So, what are America’s major brands saying about all of this?
Companies like SC Johnson and Nestle have committed all of their brands to become more circular. Their targets and goals are in line with the Ellen McArthur Foundation and New Plastics Economy, to be 100% recyclable by 2025. The goal here is to get to a 100% landfill-free society. There are major challenges to overcome, including product and packaging development, collection and sorting. However, there are many innovative new technologies and solutions becoming available every day. Advances in chemical recycling, AI and robotics will help solve the problem. Chemical recycling answers a need that mechanical recycling can’t solve. The biggest requirement is that everybody must agree to implement strategies, programs and technologies that will lead us down the path of becoming a waste-free society.
US Government, both at the state and federal levels are ramping up legislation quickly to help America get on track. Major policy changes are happening. For once, Republicans and Democrats are on the same side of this issue. Advancing the circular economy creates jobs and is great for the environment. How we deal with plastic has a huge amount of mind share within US Government. It’s 10% of the total waste stream but getting 100% of the attention. There have been more hearings in 2020/2021 than in the past 20 years combined in US Congress.
One of the re-occurring concerns at the is the challenge of getting consumers to participate in the infrastructure that is being implemented. How do we educate the public to be more mindful of the waste they are putting into the environment? How do we get consumers to change their habits of throwing things of value in the garbage and believing it’s perfectly acceptable? Clearly it is not. Many companies are engaged in purposeful, mission driven work while inspiring consumers to participate. No one company, but all of them working together is required to get the message to consumers.
Eco-Train has set out to make a difference by creating a simple, effective and viable solution for industry stake holders and consumers to eliminate plastic waste from the wireless industry. Our program is working in Canada. Now is the time to bring the program to the United States.
Such an exciting time to be in the plastics recycling industry!
The Phone Case Recovery Program is now in 650+ retail locations in Canada. See what other wireless industry professionals are saying about Eco-Train program on the Testimonials page. If you are a retailer that would like to submit a testimonial please email your inquiry email@example.com.
Waste Reduction Week in Canada is a year-round program, focused on the principles of circular economy, resource efficiency, and waste reduction. The program’s primary purpose is to celebrate our environmental efforts and achievements while encouraging new innovative ideas and solutions. The celebratory nature of the campaign is what motivates learning and behaviour change.
The program’s educational resources and “take action” messaging empower all Canadians to adopt more environmentally conscious choices. Waste Reduction Week in Canada further provides information and ideas to reduce waste in all facets of daily living, creating the solutions to the many environmental challenges we face including climate change, water pollution and preservation of natural resources.
The Waste Reduction Week in Canada program is structured into seven themes. The themes focus the discussion, promote achievements, and celebrate advancements in each area. Participants have the option to support areas that are most important to them or learn about a new issue.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Weeks in Canada started in the mid-1980s, when a number of recycling councils and environmental organizations began holding provincial events. In 2001, the national Waste Reduction Week program was formalized by Circular Innovation Council (formerly Recycling Council of Ontario) who now leads the national campaign with support from a coalition of not-for-profit environmental groups and governments from each of the 13 provincial and territorial jurisdictions across Canada.
This October, join us to celebrate Waste Reduction Week in Canada’s 20th anniversary! This year’s overall theme is Then – Now – Future. We invite you to follow along on Eco-Train’s social media channels as we reflect and look ahead at ways to help advance the circular economy.
Proclaim Oct 18 – 24, 2021 as Waste Reduction Week – HERE
Eco-train is excited to announce the Canada wide “Emission Free” Tour is now complete. CEO and Founder, Bob Cain met with retailers all across Canada over the last ten weeks to discuss how the Phone Case Recovery provides the best solution to eliminating plastic waste generated by the wireless industry. Eco-Train has ensured that Canadian consumers now have the ability to recycle old, unwanted phone and tablet cases, no matter where they live in Canada.
Eco-Train utilized the Tesla Trans-Canada Supercharger network while generating ZERO EMISSIONS along the way.
The full trip from Vancouver to Halifax is documented below as well as on the on the following social media pages.
Eco-train is thrilled to announce a partnership with PLAEX Building Systems to provide the most sustainable end-of-use solution for old phone and tablet cases. I recently met with PLAEX’s CEO and Founder, Dustin Bowers to see if phone and tablet cases could be used as a feed stock material for their proprietary composite building materials.
After some preliminary testing – all signs point to YES! Going forward, all phone and tablet cases collected by our eastern Canadian retail partners will now be sent to PLAEX. The team at PLAEX will incorporate these materials into their proprietary composite, interlocking building systems.
PLAEX has worked together with the construction industry to create a robust system that can meet and exceed industry standards, as well as stand up to the increasing environmental demands created by climate change.
Eco-Train is proud to offer the wireless industry a ground breaking solution for the PLASTIC WASTE generated by the Phone Case Industry.
On World Ocean Day, people everywhere can celebrate and take action for our shared ocean, which connects us all. Get together with your family, community, and /or your company, and join with millions of others around our blue planet to start creating a better future.
By working together, we can — and will — protect and restore our shared ocean. Join this growing global celebration in June and continue to grow the engagement year-round!
Just in time for Global Recycling Day, Canada’s Eco-Train unites phone case industry (brands, distributors, and retailers alike) in a call-to-action for shoppers to recycle old cellphone cases
Eco-Train continues its mission to support earth-friendly products with the launch of Canada’s first-ever national recycling program for cellphone cases. The first-of-its-kind Phone Case Recycling Program arrives just in time for Global Recycling Day, Thursday March 18 and unites major mobile accessory brands, retailers, and distributors in a collaborative effort to eliminate landfill waste.
Did you know that more than 31 million Canadians own a smartphone? (statista)We all rely on phone cases to protect our most indispensable device. These phone cases contribute to our world’s plastic pollution, ending up in landfills coast-to-coast at an unthinkable rate, in fact:
The average length of smartphone ownership in Canada is 26 months
An average consumer uses 2-3 different cases in that device’s lifetime of 26 months
That means over 35 million phone cases are used in a year, with no disposal solution – until now
You may think when you drop your phone case in the blue bin that it will be recycled – it will not. Recycling depots do not process phone cases, sustainably made or otherwise
Although future-forward mobile accessory brands including LifeProof, Gear4, Mellow and Pela are already producing sustainably made phone cases to satisfy green-friendly shoppers, without the Phone Case Recovery Program, they are all destined for landfill.
It is Eco-Train’s goal to educate business and consumers about the severity of the global plastic pollution crisis, while offering a sustainable solution.
Here’s how it works
Eco-Train, in collaboration with mobile accessory distributors and retailers across Canada has created a network of retail collection points that is expanding daily, check this store locator for the closest location to you. Consumers are encouraged to bring their obsolete, out-of-date phone cases, all materials welcome except those containing batteries or made of metal, to their participating local retailer for recycling.
What it means to be an Eco-Train PLATINUM Sponsor.
Brand helps pay for back end sorting, shredding and preparation of all other non-recyclable cases collected to be put towards a “Waste to Energy” co-processing program.
Brand agrees to take back all their cases recovered through the program to be recycled for rebirth into new products or properly composted in an industrial compost facility.
What it means to be an Eco-Train GOLD Sponsor.
Products must be either ASTM D6400 Certified Compostable or made with a minimum of 50% post consumer recycled plastic.
Must contain zero plastic in the packaging, no poly bags in shipments.
Brand donates a % of profit to Eco Non-Profit organizations.
Brand helps pay for back end sorting, shredding and preparation of all non-recyclable cases collected to be put towards a “Waste to Energy” co-processing program.
What it means to be an Eco-Train SILVER Sponsor.
Silver Sponsorship is open to any case brand doing their part to help pay for the back end sorting, shredding and preparation of all non-recyclable cases collected to be put towards a “Waste to Energy” co-processing program.