• Gary Robinson

Synaptic Connections Newsletter 2019 Week#29

Updated: Jul 22, 2019

July 15, 2019 www.Synapticpackaging.com Image -Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Week#29 of 2019

Good morning!  I hope you are having a nice summer.  The full heat is on - what is your favorite way to keep cool with friends and family?

If you are new to joining us, welcome!  We are in a series focused on innovation strategies to ReThink Waste.  Innovating with waste can be challenging.  Most commonly, that challenge is with contaminates and the economics involved in removing those contaminates in order to create a quality product.  For this reason, today - we prioritize our thoughts on mono-material waste streams.

Many of our readers of Synaptic Connections have a focused interest on consumer packaged goods.  As such, the first thought goes to packaging waste.  That's a good place to focus, however, I'd like to challenge everyone to cast a broader net and look at waste beyond the scope of your personal profession.  This is a good challenge because it helps open our minds and think in a broader context.  That broader thinking can often be the catalyst to trigger innovation in your own area of expertise.

One of the big segments where we see prioritized opportunity to ReThink Waste is the agriculture, seafood, and other natural harvesting processes.  These are vast quantities of mono-materials being collected, on a routine schedule, typically in a high concentration by geographic region.  These are also Natural and Renewable feedstocks.

Given historical farming practices, much of our agriculture in the world is focused on the principal of harvesting the desired fruit, seeds, fibers, or vegetables.  The residual organics are often burned in the field (a soil nutrient), or are harvested and burned as a bio-fuel.

Generally speaking, much of this organic 'waste' material is valued on basis of its combustion (BTU).  Last week we discussed the two pillars of innovation to ReThink Waste: 1) Eliminate contaminates, 2) Enhance the value of the end-use application.  With a mono-material harvest waste stream you start with a very high density, single stream material, with very little contaminates.  The materials are typically collected in low-cost economic zones that could benefit by innovation.  If the material is seen as waste today then the cost basis can be quite low.  This is a great place to start as a foundation for development of Disruptive Innovation (DI) to build the bio-economy of tomorrow.

We are super motivated about this opportunity and see great work taking place in R&D around the world.  The business case has so much potential.  Over a year ago we introduced the concept of Disruptive Innovation advancing packaging sustainability.  The sector and strategies described above offer one of the more powerful DI opportunities for sustainable packaging.  This segment demonstrates alignment for all three characteristics of our sustainability strategy 1) Natural/ Renewable Materials, 2) ReThink Waste, and 3) Big Data Convergence (coming soon).

Have a great week, and enjoy the news articles below!

Packaging Sustainability//

ReThink Waste//

Emerging Energy//

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. 

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