Circular Blu: 'Building an Inclusive and Circular Economy'

Circular Blu: 'Building an Inclusive and Circular Economy'
Monday, November 6, 2017
Circular Blu logo with up-cycled tote bags on a background of fall leaves

Author: Jonathan Flanders, Co-Founder at Circular Blu LLC

There are companies whose sole purpose is to profit, and then there are companies that set out to change the world. Upcycled tote bags may be what Circular Blu is currently known for, but their vision goes far beyond that…to create a circular economy that works, while at the same time putting disadvantaged and underserved people to work. That is why, effective immediately, Circular Blu is very proud to announce that a portion of all proceeds from the sales of their tote bags will be donated to Work Without Limits' to support their mission of advancing the careers of people with disabilities. Jonathan Flanders, Circular Blu Co-Owner and Chief Innovation Officer states, “It is really important that people vote with their dollars by making socially and environmentally beneficial consumer decisions. Aligning our mission with that of Work Without Limits enables us to expand and provide increasingly larger support for the amazing work they do."

Raise the Bar HIRE! 2017 Conference Bags

Circular Blu is a reiteration of a previous enterprise known as Blu2Green. Blu2Green recognized that there was a unique opportunity in the repurposing of sterilization wrap (aka blue wrap), which is a nonwoven polypropylene fabric used in hospitals and disposed of in massive quantities. The two brothers who managed Blu2Green, Christopher and Gavin Bodkin, recognized this as a circular economic opportunity and began hiring people with disabilities to process and sew clean blue wrap into upcycled reusable tote bags. Circular Blu helped support Work Without Limits’ 1st annual ‘Raise the Bar HIRE!’ conference by providing them with environmentally friendly bags. Circular Blu has since adopted this role whole-heartedly, having now sponsored the conference for four years running! Watch the first bag being created and presented to Kathy Petkauskos, Work Without Limits Director, here:

It can be very difficult to choose products that are genuinely beneficial to the planet in a world so fraught with greenwashing. For more information on the benefits of Circular Blu’s “The World’s Most Sustainable Tote Bag”, please visit Circular Blu’s website and check out the infographic below:

The Real Impact of Reusable Bags

[Infographic text:

The Real Impact of Reusable Bags: Reusable bags aren't always better for the environment. Here is an analysis of how many uses it would take to be more sustainable than disposable plastic bags.

Cotton Bags- 326 Uses. A single cotton bag has a carbon footprint of up to 600 lbs of C02! Furthermore, the manufacturing process contributes to acidification and eco-toxicity. NWPP Bags- 26 USES. Non-woven polypropylene bags are the most popular reusable bag type on the market. Manufacturing one from scratch however requires 26 uses to make it a sustainable alternative. LDPE Bags- 9 Uses. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) is used in many department stores as a "reusable" alternative. In reality, they are rarely reused, garnering an average of roughly 3.1 uses on average.

Did you know... Plastic bags and garbage that are thrown into the ocean have devastating effects on sea animals, killing over 100 million animals each year. Since 1999, 6.25 billion reusable bags were imported into the US for resale and giveaways. These bags are often shipped 7000+ miles from the country of origin.

Paper Bags- 7 Uses. Paper bags emit 51% more GHG emissions, create 50% more water pollution, use 4x more raw materials, and consume 2x more energy than disposable bags. Circular Blu Bags- 1 Use. 250 million lbs of clean sterilization wrap is landfilled each year in the US alone. CBlu bags are made from 100% repurposed sterilization wrap, made in the USA, and support individuals with disabilities.

Not every bag is created equal. We have dedicated our efforts to redefining the value of clean blue wrap by upcycling it into reusable products. Help save the Earth and buy bags that do good! For more information contact info@circularblu.com]

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Circular Blu is a Work Without Limits Massachusetts Business Leadership Network (MABLN) member. If you want to learn how Work Without Limits can help your company reach their diversity goals:

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Jonathan Flanders of Circular BluAuthor Bio: Jonathan Flanders is a father, husband, entrepreneur, scientist, writer, and musician from Sunapee, NH. He is  Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Circular Blu as well as Owner and Founder of Greenfellow Enterprises. He has a  B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry from Plymouth State University.