What Is a Circular End-of-Life Plan for Products?
Have you purchased a 4ocean bracelet only to wonder if you'll create more waste by throwing it away once you're done? If so, we're here to tell you that our circular end-of-life plan will take care of it!
At 4ocean, we're committed to ensuring a healthy environment. We remove trash from the ocean and coastlines, fund a variety of environmental charities, empower the workers who make our bracelets from sustainable materials, and support initiatives that educate others about the ocean plastic crisis.
To continue our goal of ensuring a more sustainable future, we have created a circular end-of-life plan for each one of our products. Once you're finished with your bracelet or another 4ocean item, please send it back to us so we can properly recycle it. All you have to do is reach out to one of our customer representatives to receive a prepaid shipping label.
The circular end-of-life product plan: why it matters
4ocean's circular end-of-life product plan is not a new concept. In cultivating a vision for sustainable economic growth, several companies around the globe are adopting circularity and end-of-life solutions.
The term "circular economy" refers to a production model used by both startups and big companies alike. Its goal? To continuously cycle goods back into the supply chain and reduce waste all together.
4ocean and a handful of other companies have already forged new business models that align with a circular end-of-life plan for products. Some of the companies that have already adopted a circular end-of-life plan include:
- Looptworks: This Portland-based startup company reuses and repurposes abandoned materials into long-lasting products.
- Thread: Thread is a Certified B Corporation that converts plastic bottles into responsible fabric used in consumer products.
- Levi Strauss: Every Levi store now accepts shoes and clothes of any brand and transforms them into things like new fibers for clothing and insulation for buildings.
- Dell: In an attempt to cut down on e-waste, Dell has put in place several circular economy initiatives. One such initiative involves utilizing 50 million pounds of recycled materials by 2020.
How adopting a circular end-of-life plan reduces waste
A circular life economy aims to keep materials in use while decreasing the number of products thrown away. Businesses that adopt circular end-of-life solutions reduce waste by:
- Keeping products in use: By designing products so that they can be reused, companies can reduce — and even eliminate — the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
- Regenerating natural systems: A circular life economy thrives on the principle that, in returning nutrients to the ecosystems that need them, we'll get the most out of our natural resources.
- Changing the way materials are designed: Circular end-of-life product plans help us reframe the way we think about production, waste, and pollution. A circular life economy uses a regenerative approach that acts in direct contrast to the traditional linear economy.
How is 4ocean using the circular end-of-life plan?
With our circular end-of-life product plan, we aim to eliminate waste at the end of our product lifecycle by retrieving 4ocean products our customers no longer use. If you're a 4ocean customer and return your used products to us after you're done, we'll recycle them for you and transform the materials into new products.
We implement the circular end-of-life plan with all of our products:
- Single-use alternatives
- Cleanup gear
- Sustainable gifts
- Monthly bracelet subscriptions
Why 4ocean uses a circular end-of-life plan for products
At 4ocean, our bracelet cords and beads are made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic and glass bottles. Why is it essential to recycle and reuse glass and plastic products rather than throw them away? There are several reasons.
For one, reusing materials such as glass, plastic, paper, aluminum, and other materials reduces the harmful impacts that extraction and processing of virgin materials has on the environment.
Recycling also saves production and energy costs and decreases the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and incineration plants. In 2017, the average person disposed of 4.51 pounds of waste every day in the U.S. alone. Most of this waste winds up in landfills. As the waste stream in disposal areas goes up, so will the pressures on our environment and resources.
Other detrimental environmental and community impacts of the degradation of waste in landfills include:
- Increased production of leachate and gases. These emissions pose potential threats to the environment as well as human health.
- Management of landfills has ecological effects that can lead to the displacement of fauna and loss of habitats.
- Higher risks for public health derived from groundwater or surface contamination by leachate.
- Adverse impacts on housing values depending on proximity to landfills.
Send your used 4ocean products back to us
Remember that if you do buy a bracelet or sign up for a bracelet subscription, you can always send your products back to us when you're done so we can properly recycle them. Reach out to our customer service crew today to receive a prepaid shipping label for your used 4ocean products!