It’s time to stop our recycling going to waste. On average, currently less than 50% of your recycling bin is actually being recycled. Lasso aims to drastically increase this recycling rate towards 100% with our patented closed-loop recycling technology. Their mission is to transform how society reuses its used-materials and empower households and businesses to actively deliver and benefit from the circular economy.
Recycling is the buzzword of this generation. From community litter-pickup drives to ‘ploggers’ (individual joggers who pick up rubbish along their route — a portmanteau of ‘jogger’ and the Swedish word ‘plocka’, meaning ‘to pick’) to big business, everyone is keen to prove their green credentials.
But figures show that, despite slowly increasing collection rates, less than half of what goes into our recycling bins is actually recycled — and of that, only a tiny percentage is closed-loop recycled. Closed-loop recycling is where, for example, a bottle is remanufactured back into a bottle.
Now a new Australian tech company is developing the world’s first domestic recycling appliance that will process glass, plastics and aluminium in the home. It guarantees to produce materials of such purity they can be completely closed-loop recycling.
Lasso (previously called ReCircle as the brand has recently launched a rebranding campaign) says that far from being rubbish most of our used containers are actually really valuable materials — but only if they can be kept pure and separated from the start.
By using Lasso technology, users will be able to effectively “mine” these resources in their own homes, creating a stream of valuable re-usable products they know can be truly closed-loop recycled.
We spoke to Alison Richardson, co-founder of Lasso in London, where the company is currently equity crowdfunding to build a prototype of the world’s first carbon-neutral domestic recycling appliance.
“Everyone seems to think we have cracked the recycling thing – that the job is done and that now all we need to do is clean up the mess and all will be fine. What people don’t realise is that a horrifyingly small amount of what goes into their recycling bin is actually recycled, and only a tiny percentage is closed-loop recycled.
“That means even if we are making thousands of miles of roadways from recycled plastics, as they are in India – though goodness knows how coating the earth with more plastic will affect the environment down the track – it still means mining virgin materials to make the one million plastic bottles we currently demand every minute.”
Alison says the penny dropped for her when visiting the huge recycling centre near her property in rural NSW, Australia.
“I drove in with my carefully sorted recycling bins and was told to put all the contents together in one area. Everything mixed back together. When I asked what would happen to the materials I was told they go to make road base.
“So all that washing and careful sorting were pointless. We would still have to make more plastic to satisfy world demand and all that valuable material would go to waste.”
That was the moment Alison gave up her work as a relationship counsellor to work full-time with Lasso.
“As a therapist, I know most people want to do the right thing but, what most people don’t realise is that all their efforts are not really helping to solve the problem. Cleaning the oceans is fantastic but, unless we address how the plastics get there in the first place, what we are doing is simply cleaning up the mess.
“Lasso technology will mean people can take back control of what happens to their recycling. Not only will a Lasso machine mean an end to those infuriating overflowing, smelly recycling boxes we all have, but it will mean we can confidently know our used materials are being closed-loop recycled.
“That means less demand on virgin materials to make glass and plastic containers, but also means the process of re-manufacturing from recycled materials will be much more carbon- and energy-efficient, and so better for the environment,” says Alison.
All the components (material sensors, washer, glass grinders and plastic granulators etc) for the Lasso appliance already exist, and Lasso has lined up world-leading experts to design them specifically for the prototype.
“Most people know recycling isn’t really working – that most of what they put in their recycling boxes end up in the landfill or in the ocean. They feel helpless and many of them are simply giving up because they think it’s a waste of time. We want to change that, to give hope and to make a real difference.
“We know what is in the recycling boxes is actually really valuable material – if only it can be kept clean and separate from the start. A Lasso machine will mean people can mine that valuable source of material in their own home – they will be benefiting the planet by closed-loop recycling and, down the track, they should receive some payment for the recycling they have processed.”
Lasso Recycling is creating the first-ever domestic recycling machine that will process glass, plastics and aluminium in the home. Because after all, it’s not trash, it’s treasure! Read here how you can embrace zero-waste recycling.
What do you think? If you’d like to support this invention and get your home recycling to become a treasure find them at CrowdCube.
This Equity Crowdfunding Campaigns sell equity or shares in private companies and you become a shareholder, not simply a donor. You can find information on that over at CrowdCube, the platform we’re using for this funding round. Investments big and small are welcome!
ALISON RICHARDSON, CO-FOUNDER
Alison holds a Masters of Health Sciences and is passionate about the world of recycling. A former teacher, journalist and sexual health counsellor, she now dedicates her skills and energies to the ReCircle Recycling concept and developing the circular economy. She travels back and forth between Australia and the UK promoting awareness, raising funds, and ensuring that ReCircle is at the forefront of industry developments.
ALDOUS HICKS, CEO & CO-FOUNDER
Aldous Hicks is Co-founder and CEO of ReCircle Recycling Ltd. Aldous has over 30 years’ business experience as a technology and software developer, project manager and mechanical engineer, including developing water- and material-recycling technology. He developed the SOHO custom PC database software, and prior to that worked with Mannesmann Demag AG, a German multinational mechanical heavy engineering company. Aldous has now turned his attention and expertise to the recycling economy, founding ReCircle to create a solution that will empower consumers while reversing the current recycling system, which is unsustainable and inefficient.
Read about One year. 4,490 plastic items. A bold experiment uncovering the recycling smokescreen. Everyday Plastic: What’s our individual impact on plastic pollution and the raw truth behind recycling!
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