Green Circle Dine Ware:
Canadian manufacturer changes the narrative on the straw industry
Green Circle Dine Ware is a Canadian manufacturer of biodegradable and eco-friendly paper straws since 2018. With a commitment to sustainable and green manufacturing, Green Circle joined the second cohort of COIL Activate to streamline productivity and minimize their carbon footprint. The focus of their project was on process and equipment improvements as well as reductions in waste generated from internal processes. To achieve this, Green Circle completed a number of improvements to efficiency, including upgrading their machinery so that it is fully automatic.
Increased productivity: Before Activate, Green Circle was producing 50,000 paper straws per day. After upgrading their machines, they are now manufacturing over 62,000 straws a day, a 24% production increase.
Reducing waste: With these upgrades, Green Circle has reduced the amount of raw materials wasted by 90%. Additionally, staff time and energy has been saved as they no longer need to manually refill the machines with paper.
Shortening the supply chain: Green Circle is looking to reduce their carbon footprint and are refining the process and testing out different raw materials from local suppliers.
How they made it work
Upgrades to machinery have ensured a quicker process. It previously took 15-20 minutes to refill the machine. Additionally, when the machine did restart, the first hundred straws were being wasted as there was no adhesive being added. Previously, the wasted paper would have been weighed and recycled. Now, with 90% of waste being reduced, Green Circle is exploring ways to make use of the small amount left over instead of throwing it away.
One idea is to collaborate with local beekeepers and offer the excess paper straws (with no adhesive), to use in Mason Beehives. A second possibility is a collaboration with the cannabis industry to provide a biodegradable packaging option for pre-rolled joints instead of hard plastic tubes.
Green Circle Dine Ware encourages companies to hire more youth and emerging engineers in the manufacturing industry to support the circular economy with fresh, new ideas.
“I would say being a manufacturing engineer, there are always processes that can be improved. If you’re looking for process improvements , ask the people who are part of that process, not the people who manage the process.” – Geet Sheth, President of Green Circle Dine Ware Ltd.