First and foremost, we feel so honoured to be chosen to participate in episode 4 of the 16th season of Dragons’ Den, so thank you to CBC and their team for giving us a chance to present our circular business on national tv.
Here’s a couple of things we would like to say after the show (because yes it was a good tv show):
1. Not about the price itself, it’s about reuse and circular economy
We know that Mr. Guzzo loves numbers and money, but the main topic here wasn’t really about the price itself. So sad, CBC cut a couple of talks with Arlene and Wes as we have great conversations about the reusable part of a better quality product that could be reused forever and then save plastic waste and at the end help our clients save money. For example, the real cost of a disposable cup is around 0.12$ each so for the same price you could get a cup washed and reuse it.
What’s the difference? You will (re)use the same item, same concept as a library book or your favourite tote bag in your car! Then, you reduce item production and what’s incredible is you can customize it, like your favourite tote bag! Amazing!
Next step? If you’re doing an event you can add a $2 deposit on each cup. So what? So your customer will keep one as a souvenir for less than a Leafs shirt at the Scotiabank Arena! If not, we will wash it for you for the same price as a disposable cup!
Don’t want them anymore? We can give you back the credit of $0.05 per cup and we will recycle them in our own facilities to make frisbees and other products. Your cup just got a new life! That’s completed the loop!
2. Further than recycling
What Mr. Guzzo didn’t understand here is that we’re more upfront and efficient than the recycling concept.
First, our recycling system is under pressure and only 10% of the plastic is really recycled right now. All remaining is sent to the landfill.
On the other hand, if you want to go with paper cups and destroy our forest and land, it is your personal choice but not sure it will be the right solution to reduce waste in the packaging industry…
Don’t forget, by being reusable and washable our products live longer, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills or even recycling yards!
3. Environmental impact of washing
Dear Dragons, you got a point here. Maybe all the back and forth between our facilities and our clients could pollute more at the end of the line. But, for more than 15 years now, Europe is switching to reusables so they did a lot of studies about this kind of vision and here are a couple of good resources to enjoy:
–Etude de l’impact environnemental des gobelets réutilisables dans les évènements, 2013, RDC Environment (French)
–LCA of reusable cups and single-use cups, 2017, CIRAIG (English)
–Comparaison des impacts environnementaux des gobelets dans l’événementiel, 2011, Mountain Riders (French)
Not sure if we failed our math or if you just didn’t like our numbers. Not the same thing here. Sure, our products are more expensive than disposable cups as they’re 3 to 4 times heavier. But again, if you use them properly, you will save money for sure and keep going helping us to create a greener world…
5. Changing behaviours
As Wes said, maybe we should come to you and say that we’re trying to change the world. Maybe. But I’m not sure it really changes anything. The reality is that we need to change behaviours and it’s taking time.
As it takes time to build a business and create a revolution in the way we use something. As you know now, it’s not about oil or even the plastic itself, it’s about the way we use it every day!