Showcase highlights the next wave of organizations working to strengthen Michigan’s circular economy
Showcase highlights the next wave of organizations working to strengthen Michigan’s circular economy

What happens: A total of 17 teams cleaned up at the annual NextCycle Michigan Summer Showcase last June, an industry showcase for companies and organizations committed to promoting reuse, recycling, composting and recycled materials projects in Michigan.

What is it: The NextCycle Michigan Summer Showcase showcases the work of organizations participating in the NextCycle Michigan Business Accelerator program, an initiative of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Why it is important: “It is imperative that we move toward a sustainable future, not only to ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy the wonders of the Great Lakes State – as we have – but also to continue to lead in a rapidly changing economic landscape,” says EGLE Director Phil Roos. “EGLE is proud to lead the NextCycle initiative, which leverages public and private investments in Michigan’s recycling system to bring materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill back into the supply chain.”

Who won: Hemp for humanitybased in Three Rivers won the $10,000 FLOWS Best Pitch Award and a $500 FLOWS People’s Choice Award based on its use of industrial hemp production waste, agricultural waste and building demolition debris as usable building materials.

‘Great Rapids’ Design released won the RIT Make it in Michigan Award for in-kind technical assistance valued at $10,000 for using waste plastic to make plastic film.

Also won was PittMoss from Ambridge, Pennsylvania, which plans to build a facility in Michigan to process locally produced recycled paper fibers into soilless garden mixes, soil amendments and animal bedding (RIT People’s Choice Award with a cash prize of $500).

And Chippin’ In from Detroit and St. James Township on Beaver Island They shared the $5,000 Business Growth Award: one for repurposing foil-coated products into sleeping bags for the homeless and the other for their plans to reduce the shipment of organic waste and food scraps from the island to landfills on land.

But that’s not all: In a surprise announcement, EGLE awarded each of the 17 participants a $5,000 crop grant. EGLE also announced that it is enhancing the Michigan Materials Marketplace, an online materials-sharing platform that is free and accessible to Michigan businesses and organizations, in partnership with Rheaply.

Want to keep us updated on development history? Email or tweet MJ Galbraith here. @mikegalbraith.

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By Isla