2018 has turned out to be a year of great progress for gCycle. We spent much of it working on our UK Case Study with a childcare centre and families in Southampton. That is now underway with great collaborators including ZapWaste.
In Hobart, Australia another great Case Study emerged. A childcare centre using the product reduced their landfill-bound waste by 50%. The 30,000 nappies they use each year were composted along with food waste and green waste, generating AS4454 certified mulch that was sold for $75/m3. A remarkable example of the Circular Economy in action.
The most unexpected and exciting development has emerged just north of us in Indonesia. Five years ago, UK customers Jess & James approached gDiapers with an idea. They were following their dream to sail the high seas and circumnavigate the globe. They had learned how to sail, bought a boat and left Southampton for Mexico. In Mexico, their first baby was born and the issue of nappies emerged. They called gDiapers and we came up with a neat quid pro quo arrangement. We offer up our earth-friendly nappies that they can use while sailing and dispose of responsibly when they hit land (commercially composted). In return, the fabulous Jess will write the odd article about sailing & sustainable nappies.
On they sailed, across the Pacific to New Zealand where their second little one was born. They flew over to Sydney and Kim and I finally got to meet Jess & James in person. And then a year ago, they sent a note letting us know that they had sailed to the magnificent Raja Ampat, Indonesia where they had left their boat to fly home to London to have their third child.
Raja Ampat sits in an area where the Indian and Pacific oceans meet. It features the greatest marine biodiversity in the world. It is a breading ground for massive Manta Rays and 1000kg Leatherback Turtles. It is a diver’s paradise. And tragically they are drowning in marine plastic waste. Indonesia is the second biggest marine waste producer in the world. A full 20% of their marine waste is nappies. Turtles eat jelly fish. They also eat engorged used nappies as they look nearly identical. “Could we help?” asked Jess & James. “You betcha” we said. It is the perfect place to launch our gCycle service.
This year we spent nearly 2 months in the UK working on our Ellen MacArthur Foundation Co:Project. During that time, Kim stayed with Jess & James while they renovated their house and prepared for the arrival of Baby #3. Kim was there for the home birth and in fact put the very first nappy on their beautiful newborn. That’s one committed nappy executive!
Meanwhile in Raja Ampat thanks to Jess & James’ contacts, we have made lightning-speed progress. Local partners who operate a network of Waste Banks where families deliver their recyclable waste in return for cash have joined our gCycle effort as have other conservation non-profits. We have changed summer plans and are now heading to Sorong City with our two teenage sons to further develop the plans and have the boys do some service.
We are excited by what 2019 will bring.