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Closing the Loop

Author: Return-It

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Welcome to Closing the Loop! A conversation about recycling, sustainability and the circular economy, brought to you by Return-It, an industry owned, not-for-profit product stewardship agency with beverage container management as its core business. Join Return-It President & CEO Allen Langdon as he speaks to industry leaders around the globe to bring awareness to environmental challenges and innovations. The podcast features thought-provoking conversations on some of the most important topics of our time. Learn more about what’s working, isn’t working and what we can do better together. The conversations cover initiatives large and small, with exciting ideas for us to consider both as individuals and organizations committed to sustainable solutions.Closing The Loop can be found on iTunes or anywhere else you get your podcasts.
14 Episodes
In January 2021, the Canada Plastics Pact launched as part of a global response to address plastic pollution. Over 1,000 businesses, policymakers, associations and NGOs (including Return-It) joined Canada’s Plastics Pact, enabling coordinated action for a New Plastics Economy. Allen speaks to David Hughes, President & CEO of The Natural Step Canada, and Usman Valiante, Senior Policy Analyst at Cardwell Grove, to discuss their involvement in the Canada Plastics Pact and how fundamental change is possible, as well as the goals and next steps for the Canadian signatories of the Pact.  Learn more about the Canada Plastics Pact at
How can a business remain successful while placing a large emphasis on sustainability? London Drugs has become known for its environmental leadership among its customers and local community. On this fourteenth edition of Closing the Loop, Allen and Clint Mahlman, President and Chief Operating Officer at London Drugs, discuss the company’s ‘What’s the Green Deal’ program, which includes education, engagement, action, and leadership. 
Can businesses work to change the trajectory of global plastic waste? Erin Simon, Plastic Waste + Business Head at the World Wildlife Fund thinks so – that’s why WWF launched its ReSource Plastic initiative, which supports companies in creating meaningful action against plastic pollution. On this episode of Closing the Loop, Erin and Allen discuss the ReSource initiative, investing in sustainable production, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.About WWF's ReSource Plastic Initiative:For more information on the WWF’s ReSource Plastic initiative, please visit  More information on the US Plastics Pact which brings together many different stakeholders, including businesses, government, NGO’s and researchers can be found at
How can we find new potential while reducing food waste? Goodly Foods is a social enterprise in Vancouver, BC that uses surplus produce to create delicious soups for its community, while creating unique employment opportunities and supporting local food banks. On this episode of Closing the Loop, Aart Schuurman Hess, CEO of Goodly Foods and Yuri Fulmer, Chairman at Fulmer & Company join Return-It President & CEO Allen Langdon to discuss Goodly Foods’ unique approach to reframing the narrative around food waste and seeing it as a resource and the potential it has to offer  About Goodly FoodsGoodly™ branded soups are available for purchase to buying partners in both retail and grocery outlets as well as to institutions and food service providers.  To find out more about the Goodly Foods Society, including its partners and how you can support the great work they do, please visit
How can a brand be a catalyst for positive environmental change? In this episode of Closing the Loop, Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer at Keurig Dr Pepper, chats with Allen about Keurig Dr Pepper’s ambitious environmental goals. They discuss innovative strategies to create circular economies and the power of partnerships to support environmental commitments About Keurig Dr PepperSince the recording of this episode, Keurig Dr Pepper launched their 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report and new carbon targets which can be found here.
In this episode of Closing the Loop, Allen re-unites with business sustainability experts Heather Mak and Coro Strandberg (who previously appeared on the podcast’s debut episode) to talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for businesses to rethink their business models. As a global pandemic changes the way we think about and interact with the world around us, the trio discusses how these shifts have also given businesses new license to focus on sustainability initiatives About our guestsCoro Strandberg spoke to the vision of building a Purpose-Led Economy as society emerges from the pandemic. Three reports that shed light on this vision and the role you can play can be found here.   Info on how to sign up to the Social Purpose Institute’s newsletter to keep informed of these developments can be found here.  Heather Mak spoke to Diversity in Sustainability (more info here) and ESG.  Information on the ESG investing landscape can be found here.  An article about the outperformance of ESG funds during the pandemic can be found here.
How can we all live lighter and support our communities? Emily Pearson, Portfolio Manager, Community Investment at Vancity Credit Union, speaks with our President and CEO Allen Langdon about their Lighter Living initiative to create sustainable opportunities in our communities. They discuss the successes of Lighter Living, opportunities, how we can collectively close the loop and make a difference, and more.
Wondering what is being done to combat marine pollution? For episode 7 of Closing the Loop, Allen chats with Alison Wood, Executive Director of Ocean Ambassadors Canada — an organization that works to connect the next generation with our oceans. They discuss Ocean Ambassadors Canada’s educational initiatives, what’s next for the organization, and their recently renewed partnership with Return-It.
 Allen speaks to CEO Keefe Harrison and Dylan de Thomas, VP of Industry Collaboration at the Recycling Partnership to learn more about how Recycling in the US is Changing the Policy and Politics of Recycling. They discuss challenges, successes and ambitious commitments to create closed-loop systems. 
Canada’s Electronic Products Recycling Association is the industry-led not-for-profit stewardship agency that keeps 100,000 metric tonnes of old electronics out of landfills each year. In this episode of Closing the Loop, Allen catches up with EPRA’s President and CEO, Cliff Hacking. The pair discuss opportunities in the electronics recycling landscape in Canada, how it contributes to a circular economy, and what the public can do to make a difference.
The average adult throws away about 81 pounds of clothing each year. What can be done to divert textiles from the landfill and support the next generation of textiles collection and recycling? In this edition of Closing the Loop, Allen chats with two leaders in textiles recycling: Tonny Colyn, National Director of Business Development and Sustainability for The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Canada, and Karen Storry, the Senior Project Engineer, Zero Waste Implementation for Metro Vancouver. Both Karen and Tonny offer insights and explore solutions to work towards closing the textiles loop.
Who is committed – and who needs to be committed – to ending plastic pollution around the globe? Allen chats with Sander Defruyt, Lead, the New Plastics Economy at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and David Clark, Vice President, Sustainability at Amcor Ltd. about their perspectives and how we can work together to build a circular economy and close the loop for recyclable packaging products.
Learn about Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste Strategy. Coca-Cola Canada’s Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Ron Soreanu, and Coca-Cola North America’s Vice President, Sustainability, Bruce Karas share the thinking behind their ambitious sustainable packaging goal, the importance of partnerships, and what we can collectively do to contribute to a sustainable future.
Is sustainability just a trend? Heather Mak and Coro Strandberg - who have each made a career in leading sustainability in their sectors - chat with Allen about the global shift to prioritizing sustainability. They share advice for companies looking to engage in sustainability efforts, what is leading the environmental movement, what responsibilities organizations have, and more.
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