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196 - Circularity day 1 recap with Cory Connors
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196 - Circularity day 1 recap with Cory Connors

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Show Notes: Circularity 23 Day One with Cory Connors and Adam Peek

Introduction

In this podcast episode, Cory Connors and Adam Peek discuss the highlights of day one at Circularity 23, a conference focusing on the circular economy. Cory and Adam share their thoughts on the event, the various sessions they attended, and the exciting developments in reusable packaging.

Overview

Corey and Adam discuss the first day of Circularity 23, which focused on reusability and reusable packaging. They highlight the challenges of implementing a circular economy and the various stakeholders involved in the process. They also share examples of successful reuse initiatives, such as the Modus Center in Portland. In this episode, they delve deeper into the complexities of reuse and discuss the logistics of cleaning and transporting reusable items. They also share their excitement about the future of sustainable packaging and the positive impact it can have on the world.

Timestamped Chapter Summary

  • Introduction: Corey and Adam introduce the podcast and discuss their experience at Circularity 23. [0:00:00]

  • Overview: Corey and Adam provide an overview of the main topics discussed during the conference, including reusability and reusable packaging. [0:01:48]

  • Challenges of Implementing a Circular Economy: Corey and Adam discuss the challenges of implementing a circular economy, including the involvement of various stakeholders and the need for government support. [0:04:04]

  • Bold Reuse at the Modus Center: Corey and Adam discuss Bold Reuse's successful reuse initiative at the Modus Center in Portland. [0:05:21]

  • Reusability in the Airline Industry: Adam and Corey discuss the opportunities for reusability in the airline industry, including the challenges of implementing reuse initiatives on quick-turn flights. They also share ideas for on-site filling systems and the importance of extended producer responsibility laws. [0:05:49]

  • Governor Jay Inslee and Wash to Shore: Adam highlights Governor Jay Inslee's passion for extended producer responsibility laws and the energy around sustainable initiatives in Seattle. They also discuss the Wash to Shore organization, which creates art from ocean plastics. [0:10:21]

  • The Future of Sustainable Packaging: Corey and Adam share their excitement for the future of sustainable packaging and the positive impact it can have on the world. They also discuss the potential impact of Google's sustainable initiatives. [0:10:54]

  • Apple's Big Event: Corey and Adam briefly discuss Apple's recent product announcements and the potential impact on sustainable packaging. [0:11:30]

  • Invitation to Conference Attendees: Adam invites conference attendees to reach out to him and Corey if they are unable to attend certain sessions and would like notes. [0:12:08]

Relevant Links and Resources

  • Circularity 23: https://www.circulareconomy23.com/

  • Bold Reuse: https://www.boldreuse.com/

  • Modus Center: https://rosequarter.com/arena/moda-center/

  • Wash to Shore: https://www.washtoshore.org/

Quotable Phrases

  • "For the first time, I'm very excited about what's going on with reusable packaging." - Corey Connors [0:02:15]

  • "Anytime you see, like, we need federal, state, and local government, it's like, oh, my gosh." - Adam Peek [0:04:30]

  • "That cycle is what we need. And they figured out how to do it." - Corey Connors on Bold Reuse's initiative at the Modus Center [0:05:21]

  • "Somebody or some entity has to clean the things, they have to transport it and there's energy that goes in other water, that goes in other chemicals, there's all these things that go into that." - Adam Peek on the complexities of implementing reuse initiatives [0:08:12]

  • "It feels like the future is bright for sustainable packaging and for the world." - Corey Connors [0:10:54]

Social Media Handles and CTAs

Conclusion

Corey and Adam's discussion highlights the importance of reusability and reusable packaging in the circular economy. While there are challenges to implementing a circular economy, initiatives like Bold Reuse's at the Modus Center offer hope for a more sustainable future. They also discuss the complexities of implementing reuse initiatives, including the need for government support and the logistics of cleaning and transporting reusable items. However, with the energy and passion around sustainable initiatives in Seattle and beyond, the future looks bright for sustainable packaging and a more circular economy. Conference attendees who are unable to attend certain sessions are invited to reach out to Corey and Adam for notes.

Timestamp Summary 0:00:00 Introduction to Circularity 23 0:00:28 Discussion on attending Circularity for the first time 0:01:10 Conversation on reusable packaging and running into people 0:02:15 Excitement on the progress of reusable packaging 0:03:33 Mention of Anchor Bar and Marcos Pizza 0:04:04 Discussion on the challenges of implementing reusable packaging 0:04:55 Mention of Jocelyn, CEO of Bold Reuse and the Modus Center 0:05:21 Conclusion on the success of Bold Reuse and the potential for replication 0:05:49 Discussion on Delta Airlines and the opportunity for reusability 0:07:06 Logistical realities of implementing reusable packaging for airlines 0:08:12 Ideas for facilitating more sustainable packaging 0:09:22 Energy around extended producer responsibility laws in Washington 0:10:21 Proximity to the ocean driving sustainability efforts 0:11:24 Positive impact potential of sustainable packaging 0:11:50 Discussion on Apple's recent announcements and potential packaging 0:12:08 Invitation to ask for feedback on sessions not attended 0:12:44 Willingness to represent the community 0:12:58 Conclusion of Day 1 and invitation to Day 2

[TRANSCRIPT]

[0:00:00] (Corey Connors): Welcome. We are live from Circularity 23.

[0:00:04] (Adam Peek): Hello.

[0:00:06] (Corey Connors): Day one. Adam pete corey connors. We are podcasting live. It's been an exciting day, a big day here in the great Northwest. Seattle, Washington, which is this is the first event I've been able to drive to, which is pretty awesome. Usually I have to fly and usually my time zones are all different. So this has been a nice change.

[0:00:28] (Adam Peek): Well, some of us had to fly here.

[0:00:30] (Corey Connors): I don't feel bad for you because I've done that many times, and most of the time I have to fly long distances to Chicago or Atlanta or Paris or Italy.

[0:00:45] (Adam Peek): Everyone is just crying.

[0:00:46] (Corey Connors): So challenging. Yeah. But how was the first day so far?

[0:00:52] (Adam Peek): It's been good. I've never attended Circularity before, so this is my first time. Good energy, for sure. The sessions so far have been great. It's cool when you just accidentally run into people.

[0:01:10] (Corey Connors): Yes.

[0:01:12] (Adam Peek): I'll give you a great example. So I was talking with hang on, this company. I actually grabbed some samples, better packaging, and they make these like, I am a compostable. I'm a compost pack.

[0:01:26] (Corey Connors): I've heard of these. Yeah.

[0:01:28] (Adam Peek): So I grabbed this. Says Home Compostable Certified in Australia. It's a New Zealand company. Anyway, and I was just telling her how I lived in Utah, and I turned around and there was someone from Kodapaxi, and I was like, oh, you're from Kodapaxi.

[0:01:43] (Corey Connors): I know that.

[0:01:43] (Adam Peek): We had a whole great conversation. Yeah, it was fun.

[0:01:48] (Corey Connors): Very impressive. 1400 people here. The first couple of hours were about reusability and reusable packaging. And I'm frankly, for the first time in a very long forever, for the first time, I'm very excited about what's going on with reusable packaging. It feels like it's finally got teeth. It's finally going to happen.

[0:02:15] (Adam Peek): Right?

[0:02:16] (Corey Connors): And for so long, it's just like, why are we trying to recycle this when it could be reusable? Like the CEO of our cup was talking about at concerts? People don't want to recycle. They want to just throw it into a bin altogether with everything else. And that's pretty easy to pull out reusable cups from. So they have this awesome system and they've identified a problem. They've solved it, right?

[0:02:48] (Adam Peek): Yes, 100%. Let's give a quick shout out here to Dustin.

[0:02:53] (Corey Connors): What's up?

[0:02:53] (Adam Peek): Dustin Smith. By the way, they have some of the coolest hoodies, the boltsmith hoodies.

[0:02:58] (Corey Connors): Oh, yeah.

[0:02:59] (Adam Peek): I ran into John, Dustin's co founder, and he had a hoodie on, and I was like, I like that. And thank you to the team there. They sent it on over. So glad. Dustin, we can get you through the Buffalo Airport, though, if you get stuck overnight, anchor Bar has the original Buffalo Wild Wings and they're delicious. They're incredible. So go shout out to the Anchor Bar. If you and or Marcos Pizza want to sponsor, we're here for it.

[0:03:33] (Corey Connors): Questionable. Yeah, it's fine.

[0:03:37] (Adam Peek): No, I love the session on reuse and it was 3 hours. There were 3 hours of conversations around reusable packaging and just the whole infrastructure. And there was one of the sessions, they had kind of the ecosystem up there and said, these are where all the stakeholders are. And you just realized why this has taken so long?

[0:04:04] (Corey Connors): Yes.

[0:04:04] (Adam Peek): Is because anytime you see, like, we need federal, state, and local government, it's like, oh, my gosh. And then you need all these other stakeholders, and you need CPG brands, and you need packaging companies, and you need people to collect, and you need people to sort, and you need people to wash. And it was like, wow, I understand why everyone has wanted this for so long and also why it's taking so long.

[0:04:30] (Corey Connors): There are so many moving parts. There are so many unknowns. There are so many frustrations. Even if this is perfect and it's dialed in, we still need these five things over here to make this work. And Jocelyn, the CEO of Bold reuse. She's talking about the Modus Center in Portland. Go Blazers. I know you're not a huge no.

[0:04:55] (Adam Peek): You can say whatever you want. Listen, the Denver Nuggets are in the NBA Finals, and the Portland Trailblazers have the second pick in the NBA draft. So it's fine. They're going to take it's a rebuilding year. No, they have the third pick.

[0:05:06] (Corey Connors): Sorry. They have the third pick.

[0:05:07] (Adam Peek): Sorry, Kristen.

[0:05:09] (Corey Connors): We've been on a rebuilding year for, I think, ten years or maybe longer, not so much.

[0:05:13] (Adam Peek): But this isn't a sports podcast.

[0:05:15] (Corey Connors): It's fine.

[0:05:16] (Adam Peek): But you get Brandon Miller. He's going to be great.

[0:05:19] (Corey Connors): I agree.

[0:05:19] (Adam Peek): So the motor center, you were saying?

[0:05:21] (Corey Connors): They have reusable packaging thanks to Bold Reuse, and it's locally collected and cleaned and redistributed back for use again. And that cycle is what we need. And they figured out how to do it, and it's something that we can replicate do at other facilities. It could be at a hotel. It could be anywhere.

[0:05:49] (Adam Peek): Yeah, I didn't catch the person's name, but I saw someone with, like, the Delta Airlines tag on, and I thought, man, what an opportunity. And I'm glad that they're here because I spend so much time in the Delta Sky Clubs and on Delta flights. And I think you have an ecosystem here that you can control reusability when it comes to a lot of these things. And most of the Sky Clubs have the eco products. They've got the compostable utensils and plates and things like that, but there's no place to collect compostable items.

[0:06:27] (Adam Peek): And I've said this on TikTok before, I've said that, put this on LinkedIn before, and I'm like, it's a step in one direction or another. But man, what an opportunity for them to grab hold of the reuse momentum as a big corporation. Even like Hyatt, where we're staying at is beautiful. The Hyatt Regency is awesome. There's so many opportunities. And one note was reusable. I think the stat was Reusable startups or circularity startups are up like 1100% or something from five years ago.

[0:07:06] (Corey Connors): It's happening. Yeah, it's finally to talk to her about packaging and what can Aurora do that would facilitate something more for Delta Airlines and that would be more sustainable? So you're exactly right. They have literally a closed container where they're holding the people and why can't you use reusable packaging for that? Why can't we wash those and reuse them again in perpetuity until they break and then you recycle them?

[0:07:45] (Adam Peek): I would imagine part of it, and this goes to the complexity of it, right, is you have such a quick turn on flights and in order to wash and sanitize everything, you have to be able to do that at the airport. And so now you have to get certain permissions from the airport. You've got to build out things at the airport unless you're going to collect and then send away and have enough for every flight.

[0:08:12] (Adam Peek): So it was just like some of those logistical realities that I'm glad to know and have heard from people who are actually actively working on those logistical realities because that was always my biggest mental hang up on reuse was, well, who's going to do all this stuff? Somebody or some entity has to clean the things, they have to transport it and there's energy that goes in other water, that goes in other chemicals, there's all these things that go into that. And so it was just cool to see a whole room full of people say, yes, we get it and we're working on it, we're doing things and.

[0:08:45] (Corey Connors): Hey, I have five ideas. And I sat next to Gene from Boomerang Water and they have a system that's on site. So what if you had one of their filling systems at each airport hub and you could take the empty bottles and take them over there and they wash them and refill them right there rather than having some third party company deliver these bottles in a truck. Right. So fascinating ideas and I'm excited to see what happens.

[0:09:22] (Adam Peek): Yeah, for sure. And even just hearing at the main session, governor Jay Inslee from Washington was there and I think you were up here recording some podcasts when he was talking. But the energy that the state of Washington has had around extended producer responsibility laws and just the you could tell this wasn't an opportunity to gain political points, but it was really something that he was passionate about and you can even feel it in Seattle, right? Like Seattle as a city is very concerned and is very concentrated on not just Reusability, but also the wash to shore. People were there talking about what they're building out of ocean plastics. So they're doing beach cleanup and then they make art out of it. They call it beauty from tragedy, basically.

[0:10:21] (Adam Peek): Oh, wow. And so that's why like that seahorse that's down there? Yeah, it's this organization called Wash to Shore. So you have the proximity to the ocean that's really driving a lot of it, along with just the residents and the companies. Amazon is here. Starbucks is here. Boeing is here. Pokemon, Nintendo, and on and on and on. Brooks running. So anyway, there's really cool energy and it's just neat to just bump into people.

[0:10:54] (Corey Connors): It feels like the future is bright for sustainable packaging and for the world. I don't want to be so grandiose, but I come to events like this and I get re energized. One of the first people I met was from Google, and to talk about what they're doing is incredible. I can't wait to have that podcast and talk about the massive impact potential there will be. Very positive. Yeah.

[0:11:24] (Adam Peek): I'm guessing there was nobody here from Apple because they had their big drop, their big announcements and stuff for today.

[0:11:30] (Corey Connors): Did they have a layoff?

[0:11:32] (Adam Peek): No, they just had their big event. Right. Like, these are the new things.

[0:11:36] (Corey Connors): I haven't heard of anything negative. No.

[0:11:38] (Adam Peek): They came out with like some $3,500 glasses. And my friend Sean Riley from Dude Wipes commented, I hope it also wipes my ass.

[0:11:49] (Corey Connors): Yeah, that's fair.

[0:11:50] (Adam Peek): Yeah. But I wonder what the packaging is going to be like for that. Right? Probably something cool and sleek.

[0:11:58] (Corey Connors): Probably not sustainable, but maybe it'll be beautiful.

[0:12:02] (Adam Peek): Yeah.

[0:12:04] (Corey Connors): Well, this has been great. Yeah. Thank you, Adam. Appreciate you.

[0:12:08] (Adam Peek): Yeah, for sure. And if anyone is out there and you couldn't make it to Seattle, we understand travel budgets are tight. The conference cost might have been high, but if you see like a session or something that you are hoping to see tomorrow or at least get some feedback on or something like that, please hit up myself or Corey. We'd be happy to go check out the session, give you some notes or something like that. So don't feel like this has to be just us here.

[0:12:44] (Adam Peek): We can represent this whole community.

[0:12:46] (Corey Connors): Yeah. Thank you.

[0:12:48] (Adam Peek): Yeah, for sure. Thanks, everybody. I think we're going to be back tomorrow, right?

[0:12:51] (Corey Connors): Yeah.

[0:12:51] (Adam Peek): Okay.

[0:12:52] (Corey Connors): Yeah.

[0:12:52] (Adam Peek): Do this again tomorrow. We'll wrap up day two tomorrow. Thanks, everybody. See you.

[0:12:58] (Corey Connors): Bye. It's.

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