Printed Paper and Packaging Rapid Lab

A vision for the future of printed paper and packaging in Ontario

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“The work of the Rapid Lab is significant in its ability to engage a range of interests involved in a product’s lifecycle. It’s not often that manufacturers, municipalities, retailers and waste management businesses to have the opportunity to work collaboratively like this.”
– Catherine McVitty, Sustainable Living Manager at Unilever and Rapid Lab Participant

CEL’s first program, the Printed Paper and Packaging (PPP) Rapid Lab, ran for two months (October 5 – December 6, 2016) and engaged twenty-five influential leaders from across different value chains. 

Over the course of three workshops the participants:

  • Came to a shared understanding of the circular economy and the current state of PPP
  • Developed a shared vision, framework and set of innovation pathways for the future of printed paper and packaging in a circular economy. Learn more and download the PDF.
  • Developed a portfolio of >70 ideas for advancing the circular economy in Ontario
  • Collaboratively tested and refined a number of priority initiatives.

Download the Printed Paper and Packaging Rapid Lab Report

Rapid Lab Impact

The Rapid Lab process was very successful and increased participants’ understanding of, and commitment to, the circular economy. Participants will continue to meet and work on collaborative projects throughout 2017.

One of the key goals of the Rapid Lab was to lay a foundation for different businesses and governments to work individually and collaboratively on strategic initiatives. Many participants report having already taken concrete action to advance the circular economy within their organizations and networks as a result of the Rapid Lab experience.

Examples of specific initiatives include:

  • Integrating the circular economy into the update of a municipal solid waste plan,
  • Launching a new project to develop a Next Generation Food Production Space that incorporates circular economy principles and practices with LEAN processing,
  • Investing in a new collaborative project to pilot the cleaning and reuse of glass beverage containers,
  • Launching an internal initiative to integrate circular economy principles and strategies into their organization, value chain and networks,
  • Using circular economy terminology at work on packaging design, and
  • Changing their business’ vision, mission, core values, behaviours and employee performance objectives to better reflect the circular economy.

A sample of some of the feedback from participants is provided below:

“It’s been a positive and eye-opening experience. The rapid lab process itself is impressive.”

“The possibilities and opportunities have gone from “I wish it would happen” to “Now I know who I can work with to make it happen.”

“I came to the lab with few expectations and quite frankly a lot of skepticism about the whole process. I leave the lab rejuvenated knowing that we have individuals committed to tackling the changes we face, free of personal preconception and open to new concepts that will benefit all of society in the end.”

“It was great to bring together decision makers who affect and are affected by a circular economy and allow these people to collaborate directly with each other rather than through traditional “intermediaries”… The atmosphere was collaborative, no finger-pointing to say that the government has to do this, waste-management has to do that. Ultimately more collaborative than previous stakeholder discussions.”