Can I Recycle This? Inc. (CIRT) is a tech startup based in Athens, GA. We are active in the circularity space, both working to increase the capture of post-consumer materials for reuse, recycling, and composting as well as partnering with businesses to design products and packaging that can more easily fall into these categories.
The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are “a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and planet, now and into future” and were adopted by Member States in 2015. These goals lay the foundation for a sustainable future, and it is imperative that organizations and individuals at every level of society work on moving the needle in these issues. In 2022, CIRT is committing to actively advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 9, 12, 13, 14, and 15.
- Goal 9 is industry, innovation, and infrastructure. CIRT is led by two materials engineers, and works with client businesses to redesign their products and packaging for better separability and materials capture. In this work CIRT promotes innovation in packaging science.
- Goal 12 is responsible consumption and production. CIRT’s technology educates both producers and consumers on the recyclability of products and packaging, attempting to drive consumption towards brands that offer more sustainable packaging and assisting brands in meeting more eco-conscious consumers’ demands.
- Goal 13 is climate action. Production and transportation of packaging materials are a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. 40% of all plastic created is for commercial packaging, and in 2019 the production and incineration of plastics added over 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. By working to reduce waste in packaging production and increase use of more sustainable packaging materials, CIRT is helping to cut carbon emissions.
- Goals 14 and 15 are life in water and life on land. Packaging and climate change are also linked in their effects on ecosystems. Terrestrial and marine debris can have serious impacts on ecosystems including spreading diseases, choking or poisoning wildlife and stunting plant and animal growth. Climate change can exacerbate these impacts through environmental stressors (extreme weather or climatic conditions) and by increasing dispersion of debris during severe weather events. By increasing circularity, CIRT works to combat these negative impacts on ecosystems.