At CANUS we believe in and promote the concept of globally sustainable progress. To consider any new or existing technology to be sustainable it really should be environmentally, economically and socially sustainable over the longer term. Missing any one of these three pillars likely means the technology will be under eventual, if not immediate pressure, to change or become obsolete.
This means that technology such as plastics recycling must not only reduce or reverse environmental impacts, but it must also prove economically feasible and socially acceptable over the longer term. For many years the economic feasibility was not there but these gaps are closing faster than ever and added expectations around corporate and social responsibility is adding momentum. At CANUS we recycle all plastics, which admittedly is not always easy. We also encourage our customers, suppliers and business partners to do likewise, sometimes even taking plastics into our program that we simply know would otherwise go into the landfill. We just feel this is directionally the right thing to do and socially the right thing to encourage by way of example.
We see sustainability as being more than just about reducing the landfills but also as a local mechanism that applies globally. Recyclable plastics find their way to regions across the globe but once there they tend to remain local in their product life cycle, and we see this as a good thing. We promote recycling and repairs as a means of providing local jobs in these regions. We still repair items locally in fact and for several reasons. While it does not add much to our bottom line (and sometimes nothing) it does help people continue to enjoy something they obviously consider worth keeping, and it does provide local jobs and business. Throwing it into the landfill and ordering a new item from overseas may be easier but we don’t believe it is globally sustainable. And if we wait for it to make sense financially across the board we feel it may then be too late.
Another way we promote sustainability is through the introduction of and education around new bioplastics. While only 4% of the world’s oil goes into plastics there is already much effort underway to find new ways to produce bioplastics from non-petroleum sources such as starches and ethanol derived from agricultural bases. Many of these technologies have already taken root in Europe and China and have only started here in North America. At CANUS we see ourselves as a conduit to get this technology into the hands of businesses and consumers in our home region and beyond. As early adopters of bio-based plastics and biodegradable plastics we hope to promote sustainability from all aspects: from how plastics are globally created and how they are locally reused and managed, to how they locally return to our global environment.