Lasso Loop is a large appliance which lets you recycle glass, plastics, and metal in your own home.
Some questions we wanted to know
Is it available now?
For clarity, the product isn't out yet though you can reserve one without deposit. The team say it's in prototype phase and they are hoping to take first orders in early 2022.
What can it recycle?
Seven most common materials
- Plastics – PET & HDPE
- Glass – Clear, Green & Brown
- Metals – Aluminium & Steel
What do you do with the crushed materials?
Basically your app tells you it needs emptying and it connects to the home base and suggests pickup times. Sounds good. They say that you should only have to empty it 3-8 times a year. That's a big range, but it's less than monthly.
Is it noisy?
They say the maximum noise is 64–74 dB which is about the same as a vacuum cleaner, though I'm guessing it isn't on for long.
More FAQ's answered here.
This is consumer focused but could also go into small business or even workplace kitchen environments. Maybe also take away restaurants?
My guess is that it's a big call to have a large appliance in your house so this will appeal to very proactive environmentalists. That being said, when rewards, especially cash, are increased this could also make money which would add a huge segment of customers. Local governments may also incentivise these.
It's a large appliance and will seem a bit dirty given the association with recycled materials. It does look great, but Karen said that she'd want it in the garage which makes sense from a space and utility perspective.
A big question is the end impact. Will it increase recycling overall? Or will it just change the supply chain, which may still be worthwhile.
I like that this adds something big and new to a daily problem. It also puts the onus back on people to be a part of the issue, not just 'throw it away' or 'I already recycle'.
They have definitely answered all the big questions and presented a strong story for why this is worth doing which is important. This is key at the prototype phase when you can't show happy, real customers.
- Impact - this may reduce the footprint of recycling as well as increase over all but making it easier.
- Team - the team looks to have real depth in the big areas - engineering, sensors, business, marketing.
- Product - at the prototype stage it looks great.
- Market - huge global market just in household with more options beyond with B2B.
- Momentum - early but well presented and
- Capital - 1.2m pounds in equity crowdfunding. I would expect this would do well with preorder sales on StartSomeGood as well.
From The Founders:
Company: Lasso Loop
Description: Lasso Loop puts a recycling station in your home. It scans the item, and if recyclable, will clean, process (crush) and store it ready for collection. The aim is to fix the current broken recycling system by eliminating contamination of the items where it starts - in the home.
Themes: Making,Ocean,Consumer,Business,Government,Reduce emissions,Improve the environment
Summary: Lasso is a point-of-use circular recycling system
Founders: Aldous Hicks, Alison Richardson
Product stage: PrototypeMaking,Ocean,Consumer,Business,Government,Reduce emissions,Improve the environment
Capital raising: Lasso raised £1.2 million in 2019 through equity crowdfunding to develop the closed-loop recycling prototype.
Lasso wants to turn recycling into a thriving, self-sustaining and economically viable circular system that households and businesses love contributing to and benefitting from.
Recent research from one of the world’s leading circular economy groups, 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. The remaining 60% ends up in landfill or downcycled into a lesser value product. The foundation’s research highlights the role of the circular economy in addressing climate change, showing that circular economy strategies could help reduce emissions by 40% in 2050.
Lasso wants to put homes and businesses in charge of what happens to their recycling so we can all realise the full potential of our materials in a circular economy. In addition to the enormous environmental consequences, these used-materials have value which we want to keep in the economy. Today, 95% of plastic packaging material value is lost to the economy after a short first use. This equates to US$80–120 billion annually.
The primary reason that current recycling approaches aren’t working is that they are unable to remove contamination in its many forms as mountains of post-consumer packaging materials enter the system. To create a circular, closed-loop system requires that we keep contamination out of the system so that we can create a pure stream of recycled materials.
Our solution at Lasso flips existing systems back to front. We’ve designed contamination out of the process so that we start with purity at the outset – whether that’s in the home, the workplace, hotels, sports grounds or anywhere else where recycling currently happens or could happen.
Lasso is a tech-enabled closed-loop recycling system. The appliance contains an array of sensors, a wash system, and processing units for plastic, glass and metal. At the point of use, the system scans and identifies your packaging to ensure that it is recyclable. It then washes it to remove contamination, coverts it into a pure product or feedstock for industry, and then ensures that each material type is segregated and stored separately after processing.
By ensuring material purity at the source (for example - pure PET plastic, pure HDPE plastic, clear glass, green glass, etc.) the Lasso system produces clean streams of output material that meet industry standards and are ready to be remanufactured into high-value new circular products.
Why the team wants to solve this problem:
The concept for Lasso was first conceived by co-founder Aldous Hicks when he observed that the contamination challenges facing the recycling industry were similar to some of the challenges he had faced when he worked in the mining industry. Once materials are mixed together, they become incredibly difficult and expensive to separate. The key to a sustainable recycling system is to maximise material purity as quickly and as cheaply as possible. This concept underpins the Lasso process.
In 2018, founders Aldous Hicks and Alison Richardson were getting increasingly worried by the stories they read in the news about the crisis with recycling and the ecological crisis that the planet is facing. They recognised that we are leaving mountains of rubbish for our children and grandchildren to clean up. Along with other initial investors, Aldous and Alison wanted to take personal responsibility for their family’s own contribution to the waste issue.
The big impact that Lasso wants to have in the future is to provide the critical infrastructure required to deliver the planet’s must-have circular economy. We want recycling to be a seamless and enjoyable experience, allowing individuals and businesses to contribute to and benefit from the circular economy.
What are other climate tech companies you admire:
Loop: Loop will enable consumers to responsibly consume a variety of products in customised, brand-specific durable packaging that is collected, cleaned, refilled and reused. The content, if recoverable, will be either recycled or reused.
Kalea: Kalea turns your organic waste into fresh compost in 48 hours.
Rivian: Rivian is an American start-up that makes electric SUVs, pickups and trucks.