In February of 2020, another Globe Forum event, by Globe Series, took place in Vancouver. It brought together the stakeholders in the sustainable and clean economy from Canada and around the world to share knowledge and identify collaborative opportunities. Besides talks and panel discussions, the Forum featured an Innovation Showcase in five thematic clusters of Bioeconomy/Circular Economy, Mobility, Smart Cities, Carbon Productivity, and Oceans and Plastics.

In this article, we review some of the 5R solutions displayed in this exhibition.

Turning waste into carbon. Titan Clean Energy Projects in Saskatchewan is converting wood and agricultural residues into carbon-rich substances for applications ranging from animal feed additives to soil amendments. The company also processes this biocarbon, also known as biochar, into activated carbon which owing to its porous structure can be used as an absorbent in, for example, water and air purification.

Painting with soybeans. Soyaoil Coatings Canada in Ontario has developed sustainable paints and coatings made of 98% plant-based and natural mineral ingredients.

Binding clay through enzymes. Cypher Environmental in Manitoba is offering an enzyme-based biodegradable road stabilizer called EarthZyme that increases the density and mechanical strength of soils with high clay content and therefore improves the durability of the infrastructure built upon them.

Hemping the composites. Natural Fibre Technologies in Alberta is processing locally sourced hemp stems into fibers and wood chips next to manufacturing biocomposites and added value products from these natural resources.

Breaking carbon bonds. Pyrowave in Quebec has invented a microwave catalytic depolymerization technology that can break down polymers such as polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) into their basic constituents, which can be used to make new plastic resins identical to virgin plastics.

Squeezing out aerosol cans. Despray Environmental based in the Netherlands has designed a unique system to recapture all liquid, metal and gas resources embodied in aerosol containers. The recovered propane is compressed back to a liquid state for reuse as fuel.

Reduce and Reuse
Dispensing with the bottles. Bevi based in Massachusetts is manufacturing flavored and sparkling water dispensers for offices. Besides reducing the consumption of bottles in mass-produced beverages, the company is offering service to its customers with refilling and reusing the flavor containers placed in its machines.

Giving second life to IT devices. Compugen in British Columbia administers an IT asset disposition program called Green4Good in which aged IT equipment go through a refurbishment and/or recycle process aiming to maintain the value of parts and materials in the cycle.