• Gary Robinson

Synaptic Connections Newsletter 2019 Week#28


July 8, 2019 www.Synapticpackaging.com Image - Sunset, North Shore, Hawaii

Week#28 of 2019

Good morning, and I hope you enjoyed a nice 4th of July holiday, welcome back.

Last week we introduced the topic of ReThink Waste.  In our discussion, we explored the macro drivers and the foundation of why this topic will increasingly become a priority.  Recall, when we look at strategic opportunities, we look for long-term attributes and then seek to innovate before they become critical.  We see growth opportunities through waste innovation as a good long-term strategy, and a segment that will continue to grow with the next generation.  The challenges presented by bio-accumulation of waste, and strains on society will increasingly result in economic incentives for those who lead change (carrot), and punitive (stick) measures for to those who fail to respond constructively.  We will revisit this idea in more detail when we get to our next chapter on Big Data Convergence.

Innovating with waste requires us to think differently.  We need to challenge the fundamentals of the value-proposition.  Rather than view waste as an un-wanted, discard item after the useful product is extracted; we need to examine the residual components for its mechanical, chemical, or nutrient value.  

The opportunity to ReThink Waste is anchored in the economicSustainability of the value-proposition.  This always has been, and will continue to be at the core of the challenge to innovate in this space.  The financials on a recycle model are often distressed when evaluated at a nominal state.  If you think about it, the business model of recycling looks something like this….

  1. A lower quality material, typically with statistically higher levels of contaminates

  2. Increased processing costs due to collection and sorting


As consumers, we all know that we don’t like to pay more for a lower quality product.  The same is true for businesses.  So to ReThink Waste we need to bolster this value-proposition on both sides of the financial model.  From a fundamental stand-point, we can look at this in two segments.

  1. Opportunities to increase the quality of the waste feedstock - most commonly, this involves reduction of multi-material contaminates

  2. Opportunities to increase the value of the application using the waste feedstock


We will dig deeper into this in future newsletters; however, here are some questions for you to contemplate this week as you reflect on opportunities to ReThink Waste…

  • How do you measure waste today?

  • Where do you measure waste - at your factory, at your supplier’s factory, at your customer’s trash can, on your plate?

  • Is the waste you’re producing easily separated to mono-material streams?

  • Where is the earliest location in your process that you can isolate and segregate a mono-material waste stream?

  • Are there alternative ways to deliver your valued product to the consumer without generating waste?

  • What is the mechanical, chemical, or nutritional characteristics of your waste and who might benefit by that waste?

  • How can you use waste streams as a feed-stock for your products, packaging, or operations?

  • Are there natural/ renewable material alternatives that can reduce bio-accumulation and toxicity of waste streams?


Enjoy the news articles below, and have a great week!  As a friendly reminder, the Synaptic Packaging web page is key word searchable.  This can be a helpful tool when you need to research specific topics on Sustainability to share with your work collegues.


Packaging Sustainability//


ReThink Waste//


Sustainable Investing//


The purpose of this newsletter is to stimulate innovative thoughts and constructive dialogue through the lens of sustainability.  New subscribers can send an e-mail to the link below to sign-up. 


Contact Us

gary.robinson@synapticpackaging.com