Posts with term Carrefour X


That to me is the magic of durable. ‘Durable’ allows us to elevate designs so much that you don’t even have to care about sustainability; you should love it. Now if you also happen to care about the environment, that’s a double benefit. You don’t lose the design benefit. You’d just also be like, ‘Oh wow, I’m also saving the planet in the same go. Isn’t that great?’


—  Tom Szaky CEO at TerraCycle and Founder of Loop


—  Regrets? I have a few. Here’s one: In the late 1980s, in Washington, D.C., I voted what I subsequently realized was the wrong way on the so-called Bottle Bill, which aimed to put deposits on bottled drinks for the ultimate purpose of increasing recycling. It was a practical response on my part (doesn’t mean it was right, however). To get your money back, you had to store the bottles someplace. In a 600-square-foot apartment filled with the flotsam and jetsam of two people, that required some innovative thinking, and thinking wasn’t (and sometimes still isn’t) something I was necessarily inclined to do.

Thirty years later, there’s no question that I would do the thinking on this particular issue, but the irony is, now I wouldn’t even have to. Tom Szaky has done that for me. That shouldn’t be a total surprise; when you arrive in the US as a Hungarian refugee, leave Princeton University after a year in change to start a company, you’re pretty bright. In fact, you’re more than that, you’re smart and confident AND you probably have a damn good idea. Szaky’s damn good idea was called TerraCycle, which today is one of the world's leading innovators in the field of waste management. Inc. magazine named Szaky the #1 CEO under the age of 30, back in 2006. Inc. didn’t ask me, but I’d have voted for that.

Tom, you have a great, unusual back story, leaving Princeton at age 19 to found TerraCycle; talk about having the courage of your convictions. But let's not dwell on the past. Tell us what kind of company TerraCycle is now, and where you’re going. Tom — Absolutely. So, TerraCycle now is 16 years old as an organization. We operate in 21 countries around the world and our mission is to eliminate the idea of waste, and we do that in a number of different ways. We have three divisions. Our first, the TerraCycle brand, is really known for is collecting and recycling those things that are difficult to recycle. From your dirty diapers to your cigarette butts and hundreds of other packaging forms in between. Our second division is not about collecting and recycling, but about integrating waste like ocean plastic into products like shampoo bottles. It’s more about making things recycled. Now, our third division, Loop, was announced 100 days ago at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It’s all about: How do we shift away from what we believe is the root cause of waste, which is using something just once, or “disposability,” and shifting towards a no-waste system, where we use things over and over, or with “durability.” All while trying to maintain the benefits of disposability, which is to make things cheap and convenient. That’s what Loop is all about. Twenty-one countries? How do you manage around 21 countries? Are there 21 Tom Szakys around the world? Well, in a way, yes. TerraCycle is made up of about 300 team members. So, there’s 299 other people like me running around, trying to advocate for the work we do. The important thing is that if you think about any one of our divisions, whether it’s TerraCycle collecting and recycling, or integrating waste, or Loop and moving to durables, the underlying way they work is actually incredibly similar, which is: Each type of waste is a unique animal. Each one has to be collected, processed. In TerraCycle, it's more shredding and melting and recovering material, while in Loop, it's more about cleaning. And then working with major brands and major retailers to enable these things to exist.   Series-1-Tom-21Apr-01.jpg Series-1-Tom-21Apr-09.jpgSeries-1-Tom(03)-versionC.jpgSeries-1-Tom-21Apr-15.jpg    

“We need to eliminate the idea of waste...And that’s why recycling, and I say this as a recycling company, is only a temporary solution, not a perfect solution.”

Tweet Quote

Even though you are obviously an environmentally conscious company, you’re still going to have to deal with regulators. You’re still going to have to deal with maybe some pushback, right? I have to say that as a ‘purposeful organization,’ we’re very lucky that people generally love us and want to help us exist versus make it challenging for us to exist. It’s usually we’re being advocated for, versus being advocated against. Usually from a legal framework, most of the laws of the land are structured to actually help companies like us to exist, versus hurt. So, it’s usually net-beneficial. When I’m asked is it good if a new law passes, a new regulation around waste, I’m always like “Absolutely!” Cause it's helping us take a step forward. A lot of it, too, is in partnership with the major brands and major retailers that we partner with. They take on a lot of the work as well, because it’s all around their products, and by partnering with them, a lot of the challenges go away. I’ll circle back to that about the partnerships. But first ... Waste: Are you basically trying to eliminate the word? The concept from our consciousness? You know what I’m saying? Yeah, I do, I totally hear you, and I think every company has to have a big hairy goal. This is a ridiculously big hairy goal, but the direct answer is ‘yes.’ I mean, if you asked a tree what is waste, I don’t think a tree could define it. Cause it doesn’t exist in nature, or any animal if you asked them, what is waste, they couldn’t define it because in nature there is no such thing, right? My useless outputs such as the carbon I exhale are super-useful to other organisms. So, the useless outputs to organism A are typically useful outputs to some other organism and such. There are no outputs that are useless in both cases. And that is the modern idea of waste: outputs that are useless to the creator but also useless to any other organism that may want to eat it. In fact, most cases that animals think that waste is food, they eat it to their detriment.

“If you asked a tree what is waste, I don’t think a tree could define it. Cause in nature there is no such thing.”

Tweet Quote

We need to eliminate the idea of waste. This is why recycling is an important temporary solution, but strangely and academically, if you looked up the word ‘recycling’ in a dictionary, it would be bound to the word ‘waste’. In other words, the word ‘waste’ has to appear in the definition of the word ‘recycling.’ And that’s why recycling, and I say this as a recycling company, is only a temporary solution, not a perfect solution. Can you show me, I mean, not just tell me, the difference between TerraCycle and Loop? Oh, sure, let me pick a product that exists in both businesses to compare and contrast. I actually even have a prop here. Bear with me. Ok, let’s do something like an ice cream container, because I happen to be having one in my hand. So today, if you bought an ice cream container, it would probably be paperboard, right? If you bought like a Häagen Dazs or let’s say a Ben & Jerry’s or something. Now that paperboard container, when you're done with it, is not recyclable and will end up in a landfill or an incinerator. That’s today. With our first division, we would, and we do this with Ben & Jerry’s for example in Japan, give you an opportunity to be able to collect that used paperboard ice cream container, and we would take it. We would shred it. We would separate the plastic from the paper and recycle both into new plastic and paper products. That is recycling, right?


“This Häagen Dazs container is like the best ice cream container in the world. It’s beautiful. It has new function. And, the amount of work to have this go-around again is incredibly little compared to the amount of work to recycle something, let alone to dispose of it.”

Tweet Quote

Now in Loop, we change the container to stainless steel. Incredibly beautiful. A fantastic container. And this, when we pick it up from you, dirty with ice cream residue in it, gets cleaned and refilled. That’s the difference between Loop and TerraCycle and how they work. The benefit is with Loop, you get a way better container. This is like the best ice cream container in the world. There’s nothing better than this. It’s beautiful. It has new function. And also, the amount of work to have this go-around again is incredibly little compared to the amount of work to recycle something, let alone to dispose of it. Okay, I’m really impressed about that ice cream thing. I’ll show you another one for fun. Here, for example, is the newly designed Loop toothbrush, made from metal. But first, imagine an old plastic toothbrush. Okay? Sure. In a plastic toothbrush today, you can’t recycle at home, so you throw it out. That’s today, there’s no choice. We have, at TerraCycle, created a national program with Colgate and with other brands as well, but with Colgate in the U.S. that nationally allows you to recycle your toothbrushes by sending them to us and we shred them, melt them, and maybe make them into a playground. That’s TerraCycle. In Loop, when this newly designed toothbrush comes back, now this is a bit more complex. So, the new toothbrush has parts of it that are reasonable to reuse. Like, check this out. The bottom of the new toothbrush, this part, that’s reasonable to reuse. So, this is cleaned and goes to the next consumer. While the head, no matter how well I clean the head, you would never be comfortable using someone’s old head. So, this goes to recycling, and all we do is put a new head on and out it goes to the next consumer. So here, the bottom is what goes to re-use. And this is probably the most beautiful manual toothbrush ever invented. I mean it's beautiful. Metal, feels amazing, and that’s what durability does. It doesn’t just solve for the environment. It actually makes a way, way, way better product.

“And this Oral-B is probably the most beautiful manual toothbrush ever invented. I mean it’s beautiful. Metal, feels amazing, and that’s what durability does. It doesn’t just solve for the environment. It actually makes a way, way, way better product.”

Tweet Quote

That’s great, because what you’re saying is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Yup. How do you interact with the customer, incentivizing them to participate? How do I get the mailer to send back to you? Who pays for that? Do I have to go to the actual post office, cause it's bulky or whatever? Okay so, I’m going to always compare and contrast TerraCycle and Loop because one is recycling, and one is reuse. Let’s first start with TerraCycle, which is recycling. Take a shampoo bottle. Okay? Today, most cosmetic packaging is not recyclable. So, if you wanted to take today’s disposable, not recyclable cosmetic packaging, you can go on TerraCycle.com, type in “cosmetic packaging.” Type in your location or you could look for an already existing public location. Which is say, someone who has set up a program. You know, put out a cardboard box and said “Please collect your cosmetics in here” or if you don’t have one near you, you could create your own by joining and putting out your own cardboard box, and say your business or your office, your school or your community center, your church. And then you could choose to register that to be public so the next person searching can find you. Then whenever that box is full of not just yours but hundreds of cosmetic packages, you download a free shipping label from our shipping website. Send it in and then in some cases, even get an incentive for every piece of waste you send to us; say two cents per piece of waste to any school or charity of your choice. We’ve given away about $40 million in that approach so far in our history. And then we take the waste and then we recycle it by shredding, melting it into new objects. That’s on TerraCycle, and there the direct answer to your question is: in most cases, the brand; in some cases, the retailer; and in some cases, the city pays so that you have a free program. And if that isn’t the case, we offer paid versions where you as an individual could buy it if we haven’t been successful getting a sponsor to fund it.

Tom Szaky demonstrates the beautifully designed re-usable Clorox Disinfecting Wipes packaging for Loop. Tom Szaky demonstrates the beautifully designed re-usable Clorox Disinfecting Wipes packaging for Loop. And Loop? Loop is embedded into retailers. Carrefour in France, Tesco in the U.K., for example. We’re going to be announcing the U.S. retailer in May; it’s a big one. All leading retailers in their respective countries. So that’s like that cool toothbrush, the cool ice cream container, right? Those would be available either through their online e-commerce portals or through their stores. So, imagine like a durable section of their e-commerce platform or a durable section of the store. You go in, and let’s just say you bought the Häagen Dazs ice cream and the Oral-B toothbrush, the ones I showed you just now. On each one, you pay for the content, about the same as you normally would. And then you put a deposit on the durable component or the durable package equal to the value of that durable package. So, the Häagen Dazs, let’s say it’s $6 to buy a pint. Then in Loop, it’s going to be $6 plus maybe a few dollars’ deposit on the package. In the toothbrush, the consumable is the brush. Let’s say a brush is usually a few bucks so the brush head is a few bucks, but the handle is maybe a little more deposit because it's so beautiful and luxurious etcetera. If you buy it in the store, you just leave the store with it. If you buy online, it’s delivered to you in a durable shipping container. Now here’s the fun part. When you’re done with it, and your toothbrush is worn out, your Häagen Dazs is empty, there’s no cleaning, dirty, like garbage, you put it into the durable shipping container you received if it’s e-commerce, and if you bought it in the store, you put it into effectively a durable garbage bag that you can get in the store. Like literally like garbage: dirty, no mixing. You then take it, if you bought it in the store, you take that garbage bag and you drop it off in a Loop bin at the store, and then a day later, we’ll check it in and give you all your deposits back in full, and if you bought it online, you can give it to the e-com driver on your next delivery, and he’ll take it or she’ll take it away, and then it comes to us, and then when we check it in and give you all your deposits back. And then you just go buy it again. Whether online or in the store. Is it going to be an automatic refill? In the online version, you can set your product to be “refill me when returned” or “don't refill me when returned.” Only in the online version. Which means that if you send in an empty Häagen Dazs and you set it as “refill me when returned,” the empty container triggers an order of the next one. That’s awesome. Now let me ask you, what percentage of my incentive is my sense of social responsibility, which I guess you could argue that would be the two cents to charity, but I’m talking about more like the ‘I just want to do good for you’ part. And the whole concept of not throwing things in the garbage, how much of the incentive is financial in any way or could it be? With TerraCycle, the recycling, that $40 million to be given away has never gone into an individual’s pocket at all. It always goes to a school or charity of the collector's choice. And so, the motivation in TerraCycle is entirely environmental and social. Environmental for not having waste and social for helping benefit people with those donations. There is no economic benefit to you. In fact, it’s a little bit more hassle. Loop, which is our re-use section, let me ask you, if you were as anti-environment as a human being can be, wouldn’t you still prefer your Häagen Dazs in that new package rather than in the paperboard one? Totally. That to me is the magic of durable. ‘Durable’ allows us to elevate designs so much that you don’t even have to care about sustainability; you should love it. Now if you also happen to care about the environment, that’s a double benefit. You don't lose the design benefit. You’d just also be like, “Oh wow, I’m also saving the planet in the same go. Isn’t that great?”         Talking globally, is it hard to get people to do the right thing, with the environment? The branded TerraCycle programs are entirely built on “please do the right thing. Please be a good human being.” That’s what they’re focused on. And that’s not easy. I mean, we’ve grown, we’ve been very successful as an organization. But, TerraCycle’s revenue this year will probably be like $37 million or something. That’s not bad, but that’s not monstrous, you know? I’m proud of that, but it’s not billions as many companies can be, right? Loop on the other hand, because I can play into one’s selfish motivations of ‘just better, more convenient,’ all that, I think could be billions very quickly, and we’re seeing that response already. The level of interest of consumers and so on is monumentally greater than we have ever experienced in TerraCycle’s core business. Now Loop couldn’t have existed without TerraCycle existing, but I feel like there’s way more opportunity for growth on Loop than there is on TerraCycle. Let’s shift a little bit from the environment to branding. To marketing. Do you find it easy to find audiences with consumer-goods companies? Today, I do. Today is incredibly easy but remember this is year 16 of putting in my dues, almost two decades of doing what I would say are quite innovative things and building on a lot of success. That also means a lot of struggle, a lot of failure, but we’ve shown a lot of success, and we’ve shown a tremendous amount of innovation. So, at this point, I can get to about any consumer-product company quite quickly, but that wasn’t the case if you asked me five or 10 years ago; it would have been much harder. I think that’s also compounded because now people are awoke to the idea of not TerraCycle per se, but to the issue of waste. Three years ago, people didn’t understand the issue of ocean plastic, but now they do.

“This is year 16 of putting in my dues, doing what I would say are quite innovative things and building on a lot of success. That also means a lot of struggle, a lot of failure. At this point, I can get to any consumer-product company quite quickly, but that wasn’t the case five or 10 years ago.”

Tweet Quote

“I think that’s also compounded because now people are awoke to the issue of waste. Three years ago, people didn’t understand the issue of ocean plastic, but today they do.”

Tweet Quote

The award-winning TerraCycle Head & Shoulders packaging for the European market made with recycled beach plastic. And once you get inside the door it’s a relatively easy sell? Well, this is interesting. Two answers. With TerraCycle, we don’t go into a brand and say, “You should take a responsibility over your waste because it’s causing a problem.” Instead, the way we frame TerraCycle when we go into a brand is, we say, “By creating a recycling platform on your toothbrushes, people won’t necessarily buy more toothbrushes, because consumers buy what they need. They’ll just happen to buy your brand instead of the other brand.” We frame it as how it’s going to make them win at what they deeply care about, which is market share or profitability or increase of net sells. That’s how we frame it, right? In Loop, the way we frame it is to say, “You have a waste problem and you have an innovation problem. Your innovation problem is that packaging and products are getting cheaper every day, which means what can you do to innovate and make your consumer delighted?” After all, for many products, innovation is limited. Imagine if you’re a toothpaste tube, what could you really do other than change the artwork if you had five cents a package to redesign with? You can’t really innovate much more with five cents other than changing the artwork. That’s pretty limited, but with Loop, you can redo everything. You can change the entire ecosystem of what is it to dispense toothpaste. And completely change the entire equation. And that allows for breakthrough innovation, and, oh, by the way, it completely solves your waste problem. But in that order. So, you guys are a packaging company maybe as much as you are a recycling company, as you are anything else? With Loop, we don’t design packaging nor make packaging, right? Instead what we do is, we help you create systems around the packaging that make the packaging better. It occurs to me, if you guys are really successful, do you put yourself out of business? Absolutely. I look forward to it. In your lifetime? Look, the sooner the better. Who knows? I mean, the waste problem is so gargantuan. I think that’s a bold answer to say, ‘in my lifetime,’ but that outcome would be quite fine. Köszönöm Tom, for taking 45-minutes out of your very hectic schedule!

All photography of Tom Szaky shot exclusively for CASE/BY/CASE NYC on location in Trenton, NJ at TerraCycle by Chloe Sobel. Thank you very much for hosting us Tom and Lauren!  

Recycling the Unrecyclable: Tom Szaky of TerraCycle

When it comes to saving the planet, one social entrepreneur has been fighting the good fight for over 18 years. Along the way, Tom Szaky founder of TerraCycle has established a formidable reputation for recycling the non-recyclable. Working in 20 countries, with major partners including consumer brands municipalities and manufacturers, TerraCycle has eliminated billions of pieces of waste from the landfill through various innovative platforms. And with another pioneering initiative just about to launch, it seems Szaky is just getting started.  


Tom Szaky of TerraCycle

  [LISTEN TO THE PODCAST BELOW] On this special Earth Month podcast, we speak with Tom Szaky who founded Terracycle in 2001 with a mission of eliminating the Idea of Waste®. His company achieves that mission through a variety of reuse, recycle, closed-loop and upcycle solutions. For example, they turn juice pouches into backpacks, granola wrappers into pencil cases and dental products into playgrounds, among plenty of other things.   In our conversation Szaky offers a primer on recycling terms and terminology, shares lessons on how to unlock scale and establish valuable corporate partnerships and gives us a glimpse into his latest initiative, Loop. The circular shopping platform delivers products in reusable packaging and then collects, cleans and refills them – an initiative meant to appeal to the consumers desire for both sustainability and convenience.   Listen to Tom’s story here.    

Closing The Loop On Packaging Waste

Loop,ꟷan initiative that links major consumer product brands, retailers and Terracycle,ꟷis generating a lot of excitement since its announcement in January at the Davos World Economic Forum. Loop, which will actually launch in May, is a shopping concept that will deliver common household food products in packaging that is made to be used multiple times. The system will be tested in Paris and New York as a first step, with London, Toronto and Tokyo expected to be added later in 2019.

The Containers for Your Most Basic Household Products Are About to Look a Lot Different, Thanks to This Company


The Loop system, created by New Jersey-based Terracycle, could change the way people consume goods.

By Kevin J. RyanStaff writer, Inc.@wheresKR
CREDIT: Terracycle

Take a look at your pantry or maybe the cupboard where you keep the cleaning supplies. Chances are, most of the household products you buy are packaged in plastic. About one-third of the world's plastic winds up in the ocean, according to the World Economic Forum--that amounts to a garbage truck's worth of plastic dumped into the sea every minute. Meanwhile, only 14 percent of it is collected to be recycled.

A New Jersey company called Terracycle thinks it's time for a better, more radical solution: zero waste. Under the company's Loop system, which launches in April, containers are designed to be reused. As in: You'll be using the same bottle that someone--or a lot of people--have already used.
Szaky says the time is finally right for consumers to embrace a new way of consuming products that doesn't generate waste. "I've been doing this waste thing for 16 years, and people have always been aware and in agreement that garbage is a problem," Szaky says. "But in the past 12 months the world has awoken in a very, very big way. People are looking for alternatives."
Last year, for example, more than 250 companies ranging from PepsiCo to H&M pledged to cut back on their use of plastic, including making all their packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.
The Loop program launches in Paris on May 14 and in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania on May 21. In those states, customers will buy a product online through the Loop Store and pay a deposit for the container, usually between 25 cents and $10. The goods get shipped in a reusable tote bag. When the containers are empty, UPS picks them up in their original shipping tote. (Unlike with regular recycling, there's no cleaning necessary on the consumer's end.) The containers go to a plant where they're cleaned, sterilized, and refilled, and the whole process begins again.
In France, one of Europe's largest retail chains, Carrefour, will participate in the program. The first U.S. retailer will be announced soon, and Szaky says it will be a company of similar scale. Eventually, the plan is for customers to be able to buy products and drop off the containers in stores.
Some of the products will cost 10 to 15 percent more than usual in addition to the deposit, but many will be on par with their regular prices. Customers get their deposit back once the containers are returned, and they aren't responsible for wear and tear.
This initial pilot run will determine both consumers' appetites for this kind of system as well as how feasible it is and whether the containers last as long as expected. The plan is to roll Loop out in more markets by the end of the year.
CREDIT: Terracycle
Szaky thinks customers won't merely get used to the system--he suspects they'll appreciate the benefits that come with containers that are built to last 100 uses or more. The Clorox wipes receptacle, for example, looks nicer and keeps wipes wet longer. The Haagen-Dazs container has two walls of stainless steel that keep ice cream frozen for hours. "It's such a departure from a coated paper box," he says.
Today, the Trenton-based company has 260 employees and several revenue models, all built around principles of extreme sustainability. One arm of the company, which operates in 21 countries, entails recycling products that usually get sent to landfills. Few items are off limits: Used chewing gum gets turned into plastic; soiled diapers are sterilized, separated into their fluffy and plastic parts, and turned into new products; cigarette butts can be turned into park benches or, appropriately, ashtrays.
Those programs, through which Terracycle partners with companies like P&G, helped lay the foundation for the Loop system. "These relationships took time," Szaky says. "We've been working with these companies for a very long time, for 15 years in some cases. So we've built up a lot of credibility."
Terracycle isn't the first company to attempt refillable packaging. Some brands, like makeup firm Kjaer Weis, have rolled out their own products in reusable containers. Food cooperatives like Brooklyn's The Wally Shop deliver groceries in reusable containers and bags. But the Loop system appears to be the largest of its kind.
"The reality is there's a huge percentage of the population who are going to the store looking for convenience and the best deal," she says. "If it can reach critical mass, then I think it's a great solution."
For its part, Terracycle pulled in nearly $33 million in revenue in 2018, up from $24 million the previous year. Szaky expects that number to jump again this year thanks to Loop. The company appeared on Inc.'s list of the fastest-growing private companies four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012.
Talking numbers like these reminds Szaky of the company's earliest days, around the time he took an economics class in college. The entrepreneur recalls being taught the Friedman theory that the sole purpose of a company is to deliver profit to shareholders.
"That just took the wind out of my sails," he says. "Yes, you want your company to be profitable so you know it has a future. But I think the purpose of businesses is what it does--what service it provides, what product it makes, how it helps people, society, planet. I wanted to create a business that puts those things first."

全球25个最大品牌加入Loop, 承诺以可再装容器销售产品


loop零废弃物计划 改变消费市场未来


TerraCycle's Loop is about to change

It’s been a long time since the “Trenton Makes, the World Takes” motto has meant much around these parts. But if the folks at Loop pull off what they’re attempting, then it’s fair to say the motto will mean more than ever. In fact, it would be ripe for an update, something along the lines of “Trenton Makes, the World Takes and Takes and Takes Again, in Fact They’ll Keep Taking Because That’s How We Buy Stuff Nowadays and Wow Can You Believe a Trenton Company is Responsible for Waste Free Packaging and More or Less Saving the Planet?” OK, fine, that’s a mouthful and probably needs some light edits, but the fact remains: Loop, which is owned by Terracycle and housed in the Terracycle offices in Trenton, has gone back in time to create waste free packaging.
Think back to the old days, when the milkman dropped off your moo juice. This was before my time, but I get the idea: He’d drop off the bottles, you’d drink the milk, he’d pick up the bottles and give you more milk. Well, Loop is proposing to the same thing. For milk, sure. And ice cream. And toothpaste. And peanut butter. And garbage bags. And tin foil. And virtually every last kitchen, bath, and household item you can think of. And this isn’t some back-of-the-envelope scheme; already, Loop has signed up Nestle, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and dozens more companies, large and small, to get this party started. In the coming months, even more companies will announce plans to partner with Loop. You’ll be able to order direct from LoopStore.com, UPS will serve as the “milkman,” and within a few years, you’ll also be able to buy the products in stores. The phrase “game changer” gets tossed about a lot, but this one feels awfully game-changey. “We’re stopping and thinking and saying that even if 100 percent of products and packaging were recyclable, and even if 100 percent of products are made from recycled content, is that still the best?” said Anthony Rossi, the vice-president of Global Business Development at Loop. “Two years ago Tom (Szaky, Terracycle founder and CEO) got to thinking and said ‘no, we can’t stop there.’ One, it’s utopian. I don’t think we’ll ever get close to that number, but two the real problem here is disposability. And so we’re attacking disposability by working with partners to reengineer their packaging to be durable and reusable while providing infrastructure to get products to consumers and back.” The plan is pretty dang simple. You order you products, from Axe deodorant to Haagen-Dazs ice cream. It’s delivered, via UPS, in a Loop tote. When you’re done with your package, you put it back in the tote and leave on your doorstep. And that’s pretty much that. Instead of throwing away the packaging, you simply toss it in the tote. Couldn’t be easier. “People try to their best when they can, but when it’s convenience vs. sustainably, convenience wins,” Rossi noted.
He’s right. I mean, I want to recycle, but … well, I don’t feel like going outside to toss the stuff in the can when my kitchen garbage is right here. But Loop negates that issue. “We want people to be able to live their life in Loop and have the opportunity to live a waste free life. We want to be that utopian, we want to be that far-reaching,” Rossi said. “In 50 years time, our goal - and this is super utopian - but we want our kids, our grandkids to look back at this period at human history and say, ‘what the hell were they doing?’ We want the idea of waste and disposability to be a blip. We want Loop to be the norm. Wherever products are being sold and consumed, we want those products to be in durable containers.” It’s going to happen. It’s the most obvious, easy answer. And when it does, and when Loop becomes the norm, always remember: It was born right here in Trenton. How about, “Trenton Reduces, the World Reuses?” Getting warmer, right?

Why Global Brands Are Backing This New Way to Recycle

  Loop's new recycling program hopes to eliminate waste altogether.TERRACYCLE Some of the biggest consumer brands are trying out a new way to repurpose packaging. It’s a modern take on an old school model: think of milkmen picking up used milk bottles or recycling glass bottle to get the deposit back.   Last week at Davos, TerraCycle, a US-based waste management company, debuted a new model of recycling, called the Loop, working with global brands like Unilever, P&G, The Clorox Company, Nestle, PepsiCo, Coca Cola European Partners, Danone, and The Body Shop. It does just as the name suggests: keep “looping” the packaging back to the brand for a refill, instead of throwing it in the bin after just one use. This could be the beginnings of an e-commerce circular shopping system. Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, said: “We want to put an end to the current ‘take-make-dispose’ culture and are committed to taking big steps towards designing our products for re-use. We’re proud to be a founding partner of Loop, which will deliver our much-loved brands in packaging which is truly circular by design.” TerraCycle has been on the business of trash for a decade, recycling waste, and helping brands figure out more eco-friendly alternatives. Despite their successes, Loop required reimagining the current system altogether. “It took quite a bit of effort to get the founding partners on board:  PG, Unilever, Nestle, Mars and PepsiCo as the model requires a major investment of money, time and other resources,” says Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle. “Once these companies joined they set the stage and since then it has been surprisingly easy to bring partners on board.” Reusable containers with glass and metal would substitute cheap disposable packaging.TERRACYCLE He admits that it’s more complicated and costly option right now for brands. But at scale, the cost can drop. Same applies for retail partners like Carrefour and Tesco who were first hesitant to sign, but have been easier to convict after Carrefour pioneered the way, being the first grocery retailer to test out Loop. Laurent Vallée, General Secretary of Carrefour Group, said: “Loop is a disruptive solution led by a visionary entrepreneur. Carrefour has a strong commitment to eliminating waste and plastic. It was a natural fit for Carrefour to commit to this great project, thus becoming the first player in the retail space to join Loop. We believe our clients are increasingly concerned with unnecessary waste and we expect them to embrace this new solution. We hope other international manufacturers and retailers will join us to adopt new standards and fight waste.” For customers, the prices for Loop products will be comparable to what they would be normally in disposable packaging. However, customers do have to pay a refundable deposit for the durable containers. In the US, this will vary from $0.25 to $10. This is fully refunded when the empty packaging is picked up, no matter what condition it is returned in, Szaky clarifies. Rather than build a new brand centered around packaging, Loop wants companies and consumers to pay closer attention to the economics of packaging: the current model incentives the cheapest options. Since compostable packaging is still more expensive, big global brands have been slow to adopt. “The good news is that in Loop you don’t have to trust our products, as they are already the best brands in the world from Tide to Haagen Dazs, and you don’t have to trust us as a retailer. All you have to do is switch from disposable to durable, which gives you the following profound benefits,” he adds. With some of this new packaging, there may be some added bonuses: for instance, the metal containers keep ice cream frozen longer and wet wipes, well, wetter. Plus, there’s the obvious bonus of less trash to take out every week. By working with UPS and Suez, TerraCycle can use the same routes UPS does daily to deliver packages to pick up the waste. So no drops to recycling units or additional steps for customers. The idea was conceived at the World Economic Forum; hence it’s debut there this year. Szaky used the convening of these global brands at this annual event to design the system. To expand on this vision, Szaky has been raising capital through crowdfunding: over $3 million have been raised thus far. Szaky says they’re also raising capital specifically for Loop, which is owned by TerraCycle Global, and requires a fair amount of capital upfront for brands to innovative new types of packaging and a process of refillng. The pilots with these global brands will unravel this spring and it’s yet to be determined if customers are as eager as brands to solve the waste problem.

How To Solve The World’s Plastics Problem: Bring Back the Milkman

It’s the early 1960s. Girls are fainting over the Beatles, Sean Connery is James Bond and a revolutionary trend is sweeping the nation: Plastic. Plastic is about to have its breakthrough moment in the food industry. The plastic milk jug, specifically, is on the brink of taking off: the “market potential is huge,” the New York Times correctly notes. To American families, a third of which are still getting their milk from a milk man, plastic is a wonder package. It’s lighter than glass. It doesn’t break. Unlike paper cartons, it’s translucent. You can see how much liquid is left in the jug. With a plastic container, everybody wins. Except for the milk man. And, as it would turn out, the planet. Recycling is a failing industry.” TOM SZAKY, TERRACYCLE CEO Fast forward to now. Plastics are expected to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050.  Marine life is choking on the debris: Microplastics are in our soil, our water, our air, getting into our bodies with potential consequences that we don't fully understand yet. Massive amounts of plastic have piled up in landfills, some emitting greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming over the seeming eternity they take to degrade. Plastics are threatening the health of the planet and its inhabitants, and they’re not going away. Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Danone, Mars Petcare, Mondelēz International and others — some of the world’s largest consumer goods companies — are partnering on a potential solution to limit future waste. They’re working together on a project known as Loop, to be announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday. It offers consumers an alternative to recycling — a system that isn't working well these days. At this point, the partners are testing the waters. It’s an experiment they’ll roll out to several thousand consumers in New York and Paris this May, with plans to expand to London later in 2019 and Toronto, Tokyo and San Francisco in 2020. The Loop tote bag (Mark Kauzlarich for CNN) The Loop tote bag (Mark Kauzlarich for CNN) Loop is a new way to shop, offering about 300 items — from Tide detergent to Pantene shampoo, Häagen-Dazs ice cream to Crest mouthwash — all in reusable packaging. After using the products, customers put the empty containers in a Loop tote on their doorstep. The containers are then picked up by a delivery service, cleaned and refilled, and shipped out to consumers again. In other words, it’s the 21st century milk man — here to save the world from single-use plastics. Maybe. From trash in Trenton to a global stage Two years ago, Tom Szaky traveled from Trenton, New Jersey to Davos with a half-baked idea and a loose plan to pitch it to the leaders of the world’s biggest brands. Szaky, now 37, is the CEO of TerraCycle, a modest waste management company. TerraCycle expects its global 2018 sales to amount to $32 million and is currently trying to raise $25 million from small investors. A Princeton dropout with big ideas and a casual demeanor, Szaky spent the first years of his career talking about “worm poop,” a phrase he used to market his fertilizer business in a way that got him a ton of media attention. By the time he was 24, he had landed contracts with Walmart and Home Depot. His mission — to eliminate waste first and make a profit second — is so seductive, some employees have taken major pay cuts to work for TerraCycle. The company’s Trenton headquarters is decorated with garbage; Szaky’s office walls are hanging curtains made from empty plastic bottles. Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle and the brains behind Loop. (Mark Kauzlarich for CNN) Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle and the brains behind Loop. (Mark Kauzlarich for CNN) At Davos, he said, a certain vibe made top business leaders amenable to his idea. “Have you ever been to Burning Man?” Szaky asked during an interview with CNN Business. “The closest comparison —and it’s a weird comparison to me — is going to Burning Man.” At Burning Man, the annual week-long event where participants build a temporary community in the Nevada desert, people inherently trust each other, he said. At Davos, he was able to approach any business leader and, because of a similar type of openness, be granted an audience.


Szaky was at Davos in 2017 because TerraCycle had helped Procter & Gamble launch a line of Head & Shoulders shampoo that came in bottles made with plastic collected from beaches. While he was there, Szaky — a slick, charismatic pitchman — landed a spot on stage with the CEOs of Walmart, Alibaba and Heineken. He also secured short meetings with the leaders of consumer packaged goods companies and pitched them on his big idea. Szaky asked companies to think differently about who owns their packaging. Today, companies sell consumers both the product and the package it comes in. Ultimately, it’s up to the customer — and also the municipality where they live — whether an empty bottle gets recycled or tossed in a landfill. Under the current system, the fate of the bottle is out of the manufacturer’s hands, so companies aim to produce the cheapest possible packages, Szaky said. But what if, instead, the manufacturer retained ownership of the bottle by collecting and reusing it? The company could count it as a longer-term asset on its balance sheet and depreciate it over time. Under that system, the manufacturer would be incentivized to invest more resources in an elegant, durable design, Szaky argued. At Szaky’s pitch meetings, some important subtext went unsaid. The plastic waste that ends up in landfills and oceans has the logos of the world’s biggest brands all over it. He had specifically targeted companies that were featured on a Greenpeace list of worst plastics polluters, because he knew they had a potential public relations crisis on their hands. “I don’t have to rub this in their face,” Szaky said, because the companies are “painfully” aware of their reputations. The consumer goods giants got on board. And after that trip, Szaky got serious about making Loop a reality by Davos 2019. Now, eight of the 10 companies mentioned in the Greenpeace report are Loop partners. Loop Flow Chart How it works Loop customers have to make an account and fill up a basket online. The prices for the items should be comparable to what they would be at a nearby store, Szaky said. In addition to the regular cost of the item, customers must put down a fully refundable deposit for each package. The deposit varies from about 25 cents for a bottle of Coca-Cola to $47 for a Pampers diaper bin (which TerraCycle said eliminates the need for a Diaper Genie). Shipping becomes free after the customer buys about five to seven items, depending on the size and bulk of the products.


In the United States, the items arrive via UPS in a Loop tote bag.  Frozen items, like ice cream, come in a cooler within the tote. As customers go through products — use all the shampoo, eat all the ice cream — they fill up the totes with the empties. Unlike traditional recyclables, the packages don’t need to be washed. At the end of the cycle, a UPS driver picks up the tote. Customers can keep repeating the cycle or opt out and recover their deposit. Even banged up packages earn back the deposit — customers only lose that money if they fail to make a return. When the packages are no longer suitable for use, TerraCycle recycles them. Loop may be convenient for users in some ways, but there are potential drawbacks. Szaky acknowledged that it’s a lot to ask people to use yet another retail website. He hopes that Loop will eventually be integrated into existing online shops, including Amazon. “We’re not trying to harm or cannibalize retailers,” Szaky said. “We’re trying to offer a plug-in that could make them better.” Already, two large retailers, Carrefour in France and Tesco in the United Kingdom, are Loop partners and more may join the project. Eventually, Loop packages may also be sold on store shelves. Shoppers who want to be a part of Loop’s soft launch in May have to apply. The first group of users will be selected based on location and overall interest in the platform, according to TerraCycle. The test will allow Loop to iron out any kinks before the program is open to the broader public, Szaky said.  

The engineering challenge

Partner companies have to pay to participate in Loop. Szaky didn’t disclose the buy-in amount, but said it’s in the low six figures. On top of that, many are redesigning their traditional packages — an expensive endeavor that could cost another seven figures, Szaky said. Szaky said TerraCycle asked the Loop partners to design packages that can survive at least 100 reuses. Rick Zultner, TerraCycle’s director of product and process development, is more measured; he called that figure a “nice goal to meet.” “Some things can definitely meet that,” Zultner said, adding that if the packages are reused at least 10 times, they’re probably still better for the environment than single-use plastics. TerraCycle needs to conduct its beta test to make sure that hypotheses like these are right. “There is a fundamental advantage of reuse versus recycle,” Virginie Helias, Procter & Gamble’s chief sustainability officer, said. But “we need to have certain conditions” to make it work, she added. Carbon emissions from trucking and other factors could outweigh the environmental benefits of Loop if packages are only reused a few times, or if the transportation system is too spread out. Loop has conducted life-cycle analyses to try to estimate the environmental impact in a variety of situations. To maximize the number of reuses, Loop packages are made out of durable materials like stainless steel, aluminum, glass and engineered plastic, which is stronger than disposable plastic.

Single-use vs. Loop’s reusable packages

 https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/01/business/loop-reusable-packaging-mission-ahead/media/loop-gallery-packages-clorox.jpg       https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/01/business/loop-reusable-packaging-mission-ahead/media/loop-gallery-packages-deodorant.jpg  






Loop packages are sleek and innovative. Degree’s refillable deodorant in silver and white looks like something Apple would make. Ingredients and, when relevant, nutritional information for all products appear in an insert inside the Loop tote instead of on the packages. In Paris, Loop users can recycle soiled Pampers diapers and Always menstrual pads in this bin. (Procter & Gamble) In Paris, Loop users can recycle soiled Pampers diapers and Always menstrual pads in this bin. (Procter & Gamble) One package — a bin launched by Procter & Gamble in the Paris test — is designed to hold soiled Pampers diapers and Always menstrual pads. It has a carbon filter to block odors. The hygiene items, which are traditionally thrown out, are instead recycled, while the bin is sanitized and sent out again. Nestlé’s new Häagen-Dazs container, part of the New York launch, is designed to keep ice cream cool in the Loop tote and cooler for 24 to 36 hours. Kim Peddle-Rguem, president of Nestlé’s US ice cream division, called the redesign a “torture test.” It took 15 tries to get the container, a double-walled stainless steel vessel, right. In one prototype, the ice cream wouldn’t harden at a critical stage. Another package was too difficult for customers to open. For now, Nestlé is making 20,000 containers for the Loop test. Five flavors will be available: Strawberry, vanilla, non-dairy chocolate salted fudge truffle, non-dairy coconut caramel and non-dairy mocha chocolate cookie. Häagen-Dazs Loop containers. (Brinson+Banks for CNN) Häagen-Dazs Loop containers. (Brinson+Banks for CNN) Because the test is so small, Nestlé isn’t making Loop products in any other facility — which means it has to truck everything from California to the East Coast. If the project takes off, Nestlé will rethink that route to make sure it’s environmentally sound. “This process isn’t yet perfect and we know it will need to continue to be updated and refined,” said Peddle-Rguem. “We will be analyzing all parts of the process, including shipping and how many times consumers are reusing the container to find those areas for adjustment.” A plastics crisis Consumer goods companies say their customers are demanding more environmentally-friendly packaging. “We’re seeing that very clearly in our research,” said Procter & Gamble’s Helias, adding that wasteful packaging is “becoming a deterrent for purchase.” Mondelēz, Nestlé, Procter & GambleUnilever and others are aiming to make all or some of their packaging out of recycled materials by 2025. Szaky doesn’t think they’ll be able to pull it off. “Recycling is a failing industry,” he said. Roughly 30% of US recyclables are exported overseas. But in 2017, China — then the world’s largest importer of waste and scrap  — stopped accepting unsorted paper and some types of plastic from other countries, throwing the US recycling system into a tailspin. The Chinese ban left many communities scrambling for a new place to send their recyclable waste. Some municipalities halted curbside pickup for recycling, others recycled fewer items or raised prices. The operators of some recycling facilities reportedly stashed recyclable waste, looking for a new buyer, but ultimately dumped it in landfills. Unaware consumers may continue as usual, without realizing their recyclables aren’t being recycled at all. Last year, “we saw a global shift in how recycling works,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit group that uses corporate funding to help develop recycling infrastructure. We want to put an end to the current ‘take-make-dispose’ culture and are committed to taking big steps towards designing our products for re-use.” ALAN JOPE, CEO OF UNILEVER China’s ban is not the only reason that recycling is struggling. Ironically, an effort to reduce packaging called lightweighting — making plastic packages, like water bottles, lighter as a way to use less plastic and reduce the amount of fuel needed to move packages by truck — poses recycling challenges because light packages fly off recycling conveyor belts and get lost. Plus, low oil prices make it cheaper for companies to just make plastic from scratch, Szaky noted. Overall, about 91% of all the plastic waste ever created has never been recycled — a statistic so “concerning,” the Royal Statistical Society named it the 2018 international statistic of the year. Recycling is not the best way to cut down on waste. “Preventing in the first place is always better than cleaning up after,” Harrison noted. If Loop works correctly, it would do just that. The question is: will it work?

When garbage was glamorous

Single-use packages were touted as convenient and elegant in mainstream media from the 1930s to 1960s.

  https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/01/business/loop-reusable-packaging-mission-ahead/media/1-1937-throw-away-culture-loop-life-magazine.jpg https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/01/business/loop-reusable-packaging-mission-ahead/media/2-1953-consumer-culture-loop-life-magazine.jpg   https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/01/business/loop-reusable-packaging-mission-ahead/media/3-1953-plastic-nation-life-magazine.jpg  



Sourced from Life Magazine

Can the milk man make a comeback? For the largest players, Loop is a relatively small experiment. The partners are among the largest advertisers in the world. If they wanted to, they could throw their full weight behind promoting reusable packaging. But at this point, the companies are moving forward with caution and pointing to Loop as one part of their broader sustainability efforts. Nestlé will decide after about 12 weeks whether or not to expand its participation with Loop. Other partners are giving Loop more time. Unilever will evaluate the project over the course of about 12 months. “We want to put an end to the current ‘take-make-dispose’ culture and are committed to taking big steps towards designing our products for re-use,” Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever, said in a statement. Unilever is testing nine brands in the Loop launch, including Axe, Dove and Degree deodorants, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Seventh Generation soaps. Like Nestlé, the company will evaluate the project’s success by tracking the number of repeat customers. We’re “not yet worried about the financial side of this,” said David Blanchard, Unilever’s chief research and development officer, noting the company is more interested in evaluating whether Loop triggers a “behavior change” among some consumers. It’s easy to see how Loop could fail. It asks customers to completely rethink how they shop. It asks them to dole out deposit money upfront, something many people can’t afford to do. It assumes that, all things being equal, people prefer their detergent in a spiffy container and their deodorant in a sleek pod. In reality, people may not care. Loop could be a dreamy, idealistic house of cards. But it also could work. Small dairies throughout the country are already reviving the milk man by offering delivery services. And it’s not just milk. Refillable beer growlers are staging a comeback, with Whole Foods and Kroger offering in-store beer taps. Startups are trying to help people refill reusable soap containers at home, and millions of consumers are already refilling SodaStream bottles in their kitchens, a sign that there’s a market for reusable bottles. If there’s ever a time that these new models can succeed, it’s now, said Bridget Croke, who leads external affairs for Closed Loop Partners, which invests in recycling technologies and sustainable consumer goods. (Despite the similar name, Closed Loop Partners has no formal relationship with TerraCycle’s Loop project.) To make Loop work, she added, TerraCycle will “need the right investments, the right consumer goods partners.” And “they’re going to really need to understand how to make the consumer experience better than what they have today.” And with so many big companies on board, they have a “solid shot,” she said. Photo Illustration: Getty Images / Loop / CNN Photo Illustration: Getty Images / Loop / CNN If TerraCycle manages to find a solution to plastics pollution — to dust off the milk man, spruce him up, give him a website and get people to shop — things will start to change. “Once these trends start to shift,” Croke noted, “then it starts to catch fire.” Szaky hopes that by the 2060s — a century after plastics came on the food scene —  things will have come full circle. “Hopefully 50 years from now,” Szaky said, “we look at waste as a strange anomaly and we’re happy it’s over.”