Life-cycle Assessment or LCA (also known as Life-cycle Analysis) is a methodology for assessing the environmental impacts associated with ‘cradle-to-grave’ life-cycles of commercial products, processes, or services.
In the case of a manufactured product, environmental impacts are assessed throughout the entire life-cycle of the product, starting at raw material extraction and -processing (‘cradle’) through to manufacture, distribution, and use, and culminating at recycling or final disposal of the materials composing the product (‘grave’).
An LCA study thus involves compiling a thorough inventory of the energy and materials that are required across the industry value chain of a product, process, or service. It calculates the corresponding emissions into the environment and assesses the cumulative environmental impact.
The aim of an LCA is to determine and improve the overall environmental profile of the product, process, or service.
An LCA in the context of Loopedin would compare the advantages inherent in a commercially-viable reusable container model over an equivalent single-use plastic container model.
A Reusable Model is based on the replacement of single-use containers with containers designed to be reused a certain number of times.
These reusable containers are integrated into the logistics and supply-chains of merchants, retailers, franchises, institutions, corporate companies, or any other organization that has to deal with single-use containers. These organizations make available their reusable containers to their customers or other end-users.
The end-users use the reusable containers and, after use, deposit the containers at dedicated return stations where they are collected, washed, and sanitised, and repacked. They are then resent to the participating organizations and the loop repeats.
*The number of times that each reusable container can be reused is determined by the Life-cycle Assessment – see What is a “Life-Cycle Assessment”?
Loopedin is a reusable packaging provider which enables its clients to switch from single-use plastics to reusable packaging inventories.
To make this switch practical, Loopedin offers its clients customisable inventory supply-chain and management services to ensure minimum disruption to their existing business processes.
Loopedin’s model is fully circular, with backend systems that monitor the usage of the reusable containers and determine when they reach their end-of-life.
End-of-life containers are collected, decommissioned, and prepared to be recycled back into food-grade polymers.
Loopedin buys back the recycled food-grade polymers to remanufacture new container inventories, replenish their clients’ container stocks and closes the loop.
Loopedin conducted extensive market-, industry-, and technical research to determine the best possible material on which to base its reusable model.
Surveys done among key target client and end-user groups around their expectations of reusable packaging yielded valuable results; some examples of which are:
|Require container inventories that are robust, stackable, fast-closing
|Require containers that are leak-proof, retain warmth, are dishwasher-safe and microwave-proof
|Containers should be able to be easily washed, sanitised, and dried and also be scuff- and stain-proof
|Containers should have superior longevity and withstand damage typically caused by transport, heavy use, stacking, and washing.
Taking all gathered information into account, Loopedin therefore decided on polypropylene (Plastic No. 5 or PP Plastic) as its start-up material of choice. It meets the overall majority of the target segments’ requirements, offers the most value to recyclers and, most importantly, can be recycled back into food-grade polymers.
The ultimate success of a reusable model depends on how long a reusable container is able to remain in circulation, and that it is eventually returned for renewal and ultimate recycling for remodeling.
End-users are incentivised to return the reusable containers to the dedicated return stations through a mobile app that enables them to register accounts and to use and return containers.
Their responsible behaviour is recognised and rewarded through client-driven loyalty & rewards programmes and marketing campaigns.
When end-users register their accounts, they also agree that a small fee would be payable in the event of non-return and subsequent breaking of the loop.
The locations of the dedicated return stations are carefully calibrated to create a network of return points that facilitates ease of disposal for the end-users.
The aim is to enable the end-users to effectively return the reusable containers without significantly having to deviate from their normal behavioural patterns.
As such, the return stations are located, where possible, at clients’ premises, in the vicinity of retail points and service counters, in the same locations as regular litter bins etc.
Loopedin currently offers a Freemium plan as standard, with the option to upgrade to a more-flexible Pay-per-Use plan.
Regardless of your preferred plan, you will still need to open an account on your Loopedin app to access your services and loyalty rewards.
(If your employer has subscribed you to our service, simply add your work email address in the [Organization Email] field in the [My Account] -> [Edit] section of your Loopedin app)
Some merchants fully-subsidise their Loopedin reusable containers, which means that you don’t have to pay a rental for the container when you order your food- or beverage item. You get to use the container for free, and you have a quota of 5 outstanding containers at any one time. This is the Freemium plan.
When you download the Loopedin app and register your profile, your default subscription is the Freemium plan. You can use your Loopedin app to find participating Freemium merchants. Just remember to please return the container when you are done using it!
For more information on returning reusable containers, also see below:
The Pay-per-Use plan gives you the flexibility to borrow or rent reusable containers at all participating merchants as and when you want to. There is no fixed monthly commitment and recurring payments. You also have a higher allotted quota of 10 outstanding containers at any one time.
Simply use your Loopedin app to upgrade your subscription to Pay-per-Use at [My Subscription] -> [My Personal Plan] -> [Upgrade] and top up your account. Each time you rent a container, the rental is deducted from your account. As simple as that.
Just remember to please return the container when you are done using it!
For more information on returning reusable containers, also see below:
Keep in mind that no-one ever actually buys the reusable containers. They only rent them for the period in which they use them and then return them when they’re done. We need to keep the containers circulating in order for the loop to work.
If you rent a container (or even receive one as part of your food- or beverage order without having to rent it), we still depend on you to return that container when you are done using it.
If something should happen and you don’t return the container, we need your payment details in order to charge a fee for the unreturned container, because we are going to have to replace it.
We asked a lot of questions and put a lot of thought into this one.
Naturally we would love to be able to accommodate every possibility, including cash payments, but because Loopedin integrates with its clients’ software, and your account is app-based, the most effective way to facilitate container rental is to use debit- and credit cards.
Check the [My Containers] page on your Loopedin app to keep track of when you need to return your borrowed or rented container.
There needs to be enough reusable containers going around in circulation at any given time for everyone to be able to use them. If people take too long to return them after using them, we’ll need to add more containers to the loop.
This defeats the point of having reusable containers and using them effectively.
We’ll keep a constant watch and also listen to feedback to make sure that the return periods balance between your convenience and minimising your carbon footprint.
You are the most important link that closes our reusable container loop, and we depend on you to return the container when you’re done with it.
Don’t worry, we’ll keep an eye out and remind you when it’s time to return the container, but if something happens and you don’t return it, we’ll charge a small fee to enable us to replace it.
It is important to remember that Loopedin monitors the reusable container and not the end-user.
Yes, the containers are tagged with an RFID chip and embedded with a QR-code. This enables the system to monitor the containers as part of our service to our clients, and also to make sure that we know how long each container can still be used before we need to collect it for recycling.
Your details are only associated with the container you use for as long as you use it. Once you dispose of the container at the return station, you collect your loyalty and rewards, and the container goes on its way.
The RFID chip only knows where the container is, not where you are.
Please be aware that we will be very sad if you choose to delete your account. If however, you decide to leave us all alone, simply use your Loopedin app to delete your account at [My Account] -> [Delete Account].
We would appreciate it if you would also tell us why you are closing your account. It would really help us to up our game and keep it real.
Keeping things clean and healthy is paramount to our service offering to our clients and flows unfiltered to your peace-of-mind when enjoying your favourite meal or drink in a Loopedin container.
After collection, the containers are thoroughly washed and sanitized before being hygienically prepared and wrapped for transport and delivery to their next reuse destination.
For the duration of each container’s lifetime, we make sure that every time is like the first time.
It doesn’t have to be squeaky clean.
We make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy your reusable container. All you need to do is just remove any leftover scraps before returning it.
That’s it. Easy-peasy.
Think of it like a game.
If you don’t drop the container at a designated return station, no-one wins.
We have to keep playing with each container until it reaches the end of its life.
Then we recycle it, and it goes into the loop again.
We make it easy and convenient for you and everyone wins.
This is how important you are in closing the loop.
And you get points for playing.
This is a tricky one for now, so read carefully.
Loopedin’s reusable containers are made from high-quality polypropylene (Plastic No. 5 or PP Plastic), and can be heated in the microwave oven.
The RFID TAGS on the containers CANNOT BE HEATED in a microwave because they will be damaged by the heat.
But this does not mean you can remove the RFID tags from the containers!
We need the RFID tags to work so we can track the containers and keep them in the loop, and you need the RFID tags to work so you can earn loyalty and rewards on your Loopedin App.