The Uber of recycling: keeping recyclable goods in the loop

What’s the design in a nutshell?
A new circular recycling appliance for homes and businesses

Why is it needed?
A 2018 report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that just 2% of packaging is recycled into a material of the same quality, while 38% leaks into the environment. It’s clear that existing recycling systems aren’t doing enough when the vast majority of our packaging ends up as landfill or in our forests, fields and waterways. When used materials are recycled, we not only make strides to preserve our natural resources, ecosystems and wildlife, we also save energy, cut back on emissions and costs for virgin materials.

How does it work?
The Lasso domestic recycling system ensures your recyclable waste can be remade into high-value new products. It recycles seven of the most common and most valuable packaging materials: PET plastic, HDPE plastic, clear glass, green glass, brown glass, steel, and aluminium. When a packaging item is loaded into the appliance, it’s first sensor-checked to ensure that it’s recyclable; if it’s not, then it’s simply sent back to you. It’s then washed to remove any residue and then converted into a format, whether it’s crushed, shredded or grinded, that meets industry standards for remanufacturing before being stored in a separate one of the storage containers.

Lasso also comes with an app, so users can track the storage levels for each product, their monetary values and equivalent CO2 savings, all in real-time. When nearing capacity, your app notifies you and even suggests on-demand collection slots to fit your schedule. Lasso's driver collects it from the curbside and the cash value of your materials is calculated automatically and deposited to your app, which you can withdraw after five years of ownership.

The products collected from your Lasso appliance will be closed-loop recycled, which’s remanufactured into an item with the same value as the original.

"Just 2% of packaging is recycled into a material of the same quality, while 38% leaks into the environment."

How does it improve life?
Lasso is all processes of recycling in one simple appliance. One by one, used materials become valuable products, and are guaranteed to be reused, not diverted into landfill or incineration. It makes recycling at home or work easy, consistent and valuable for owners, empowering them to make a simple contribution to a circular economy.

What’s the impact to date?
In June 2019, Lasso raised almost €638,000 via crowdfunding to fund the development of a domestic prototype. Now, the team is busy designing, manufacturing and testing the various prototype components, such as material sensors, the wash cycle, plastic granulator, glass crusher, metal shredder and collection system.

While the appliance prototype is in development, the Lasso sales and marketing team is preparing to pilot the product in California. Their initial product launch will be in the San Francisco Bay Area between San Mateo and San Jose.