Reverse logistics business is helping consumer packaged goods companies make the circular decision
Circulr is helping consumer packaged goods (CPGs) companies reuse their own glass packaging to reduce waste and keep it in the system until end of life. Circulr is working on two pilot programs in Guelph/Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto to strengthen their proof of concept and validate their system. With the help of COIL Evolve, Circulr has been improving their marketing and obtaining health certificates to help them scale.
Helping CPGs switch to sustainable: Circulr works with brands that either already use sustainable packaging (i.e. glass jars), or with those that are looking to make the switch. Circulr helps these clients source appropriate packaging and then implement a return system where customers drop off the jars and Circulr picks them up to wash and return them to be refilled.
Encouraging customers to make sustainable choices: Once customers have enjoyed participating products, they return their jars to a collection bin. If they track their return through the Circulr app they can receive a 10-25 cent deposit back for each jar returned.
How they made it work
With the help of their COIL Evolve mentors and partners, Anthesis Provision, 10C Shared Space, and Innovation Guelph, Circulr has been able to solidify their purpose and validate their system. Mentorship has helped them focus on what is important, what their vision and purpose is, and how to pivot coming out of the pandemic.
By having two separate pilot projects running simultaneously, Circulr is able to test both the physical infrastructure piece and the app functionality at the same time. The Guelph/KW pilot focuses on the collection and reuse portion whereas the Toronto pilot looks at the way customers use the app and tracking returns. There are currently three collection sites in Guelph at The Refill bar, Stone Store Natural Foods and The Flour Barrel.
“The only regret I have about the process [of starting a new circular business] is hemming and hawing about it too long and trying to think out every detail before actually jumping in and doing it. You get in your own head, and you’ll never be satisfied with your progress so just start.” – Tyler De Sousa, Co-founder of Circulr