Posts with term Clorox X

TerraCycle’s Loop makes US debut in Portland, Oregon

By: Gabrielle Saulsbery February 24, 2022 7:25 am
Loop, the circular reuse platform developed by Trenton’s TerraCycle, has partnered with grocery chain The Kroger Co. by offering a selection of products in reusable packaging rather than in single-use plastic. Customers can walk into any of 25 Kroger-owned Fred Meyer stores in the Portland, Ore., metro area and purchase 20-plus products from popular consumer brands packaged in reusable containers. “Loop’s goal has always been to grow, scale and be accessible to consumers around the world,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle and Loop, in a prepared statement. “With the world’s largest retailers bringing Loop to physical brick and mortar locations, we are giving consumers what they’ve been asking for since Loop was introduced in 2019 – the ability to purchase the products they use every day in durable, reusable containers, with the convenience of shopping at their local market.” The Loop assortment includes well-known food and household products from brands such as Cascade, Clorox, Gerber, Nature’s Path, Pantene and Stubb’s, as well as Kroger’s own Simple Truth brand. More brands will be added to the Loop product portfolio in the coming months. “Our focus on innovative solutions as we continue on our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste journey aligns with Loop’s mission to create a convenient circular packaging platform,” said Lisa Zwack, Kroger’s head of sustainability, in a prepared statement. “Customers are increasingly seeking out sustainable products and services that fit their lifestyle, and this collection makes it convenient. As the first grocer in America to offer these products, Kroger is pleased to take another meaningful step toward a world with zero waste.” Customers can purchase Loop-ready products in refillable, reusable containers found in branded displays in participating Fred Meyer stores. After using the products, they can return the empty packaging to the Loop collection bin located at each participating store. Then, Loop will pick up the empty containers to be cleaned, refilled, and made available for purchase by a new customer. Customers will be charged a small packaging deposit upon purchase, and a full refund is given once the package is returned. This is Loop’s U.S. debut. The service has previously launched in France, China and the United Kingdom.

It's Earth Day 2021. The Circular Economy Can Actually Save You Money

Participating in the circular economy, in which businesses reuse materials, could help you reduce waste and attract customers.

BY ANNA MEYER@ANNAVMEYER     If your business isn't participating in the circular economy, you may want to spend part of Earth Day on Thursday asking yourself, "Why not?" While many companies follow a linear economy in which products are created, used, and thrown away, companies that participate in the circular economy continuously recycle and reuse their materials. It's designed to make doing business and combating climate change mutually beneficial. For many businesses, getting existing customers to remain loyal to their brand could require switching to a circular model. A 2020 study from IBM and the National Retail Federation found that 57 percent of U.S consumers are willing to change their purchasing habits to help reduce negative environmental impact. "Companies can't afford to not put the planet first," says Mera McGrew, founder of the soap company Soapply. "Companies that are not aligning with consumers' values will be left behind." Founded in 2015, Soapply bottles soap in recycled glass that can be refilled, reused, and recycled. The New York City-based company participates in the Loop program alongside brands like Gillette, Tide, and Clorox. Created by the recycling company TerraCycle, the program helps companies sell their products in reusable containers that are managed and cleaned by TerraCycle. Customers pay a refundable deposit for the reusable packaging.     Soapply.COURTESY COMPANY Many business owners think participating in the circular economy means more expenses, but doing so can actually save businesses money by reusing materials, says Kate Daly, managing director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, an investment firm in New York City. "Right now, many companies are only selling something once that they could be selling multiple times," Daly says. During the past three years, the Center for the Circular Economy has hosted competitions funded by brands including Starbucks, Walmart, and McDonald's to design sustainable alternatives to paper to-go cups and single-use plastic bags, with winners receiving funding and access to the center's accelerator program. Switching to a circular model also has benefits for hiring. Nearly 80 percent of respondents to a 2019 Glassdoor survey indicated that they would consider a business's mission when thinking about whether to apply for a job. When implementing sustainability initiatives, Daly advises auditing any plans from a user experience perspective to make sure that your solutions are convenient and accessible. You should also consider publishing a public sustainability report, as the Berlin, Germany-based meal delivery company HelloFresh did with its 2020 sustainability report. Included in the initiatives published in the report are goals to lower the company's carbon emissions by 60 percent per euro of revenue and to reduce food waste at its facilities by 50 percent per euro of revenue between 2019 and 2022. It also cited clear steps it's taking to use sustainable packaging. While it's important for companies to invest in sustainable practices, particularly when customers demand them, not all environmentally friendly initiatives are going to be a boon for business. "There's no point in creating a product or service, however 'green,' that customers don't adopt," Daly says, adding that business owners should reach out to other companies in their industry that have already made transitions to a circular economy. "I would encourage companies, regardless of their size, to not feel like they have to go it alone," Daly says. "Collaborating with stakeholders, whether it's in policy or consumer education, is really important so that a transition to circularity feels accessible no matter what."


Last updated on: April 20, 2021 | by Bearfoot Theory
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of over 1000 independent scientific experts, there is a 95% probability that human activities over the past 60 years have warmed our planet significantly, both on land and in the oceans. We have seen this impact firsthand with record-breaking wildfire seasons in the West, surges of strong hurricanes in the South, and the freak Derecho storms across the Plains. The United States, which represents only 5% of the world’s population, is responsible for 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other country. Single-use plastics are also piling up in our oceans, and by 2050, plastic could outnumber fish in the sea. We don’t want to sound all doom and gloom, but this is the reality we face, and it’s the reason why shifting toward more sustainable living is so important. With all of this mounting climate evidence, it can feel totally overwhelming and impossible to know what we as individuals can do to reverse or slow this trajectory. While we as individual consumers are not to blame for the environmental crisis, it is still important to recognize that we can help change the course for future generations. Small actions taken by many can have large impacts. Sustainable living is key for signaling what kind of world we want to live in. If we, as consumers, put pressure on corporations and governments and demand change for unsustainable practices, they are more likely to switch to a more sustainable business model. One of the easiest ways is to make eco-friendly swaps in our everyday lives, however big or small, to prioritize sustainable living and do our part to positively impact the planet.

Want to learn about sustainable living? Read our eco-friendly tips below to reduce your impact!


Sustainable living is a lifestyle that aims to reduce an individual’s carbon footprint on the planet by utilizing less natural resources and less fossil fuels. Our carbon footprint is calculated by the amount of greenhouse gases we produce from lifestyle choices such as what kind of food we eat, what kind of transportation we use, and what we buy. You can calculate your estimated carbon footprint here. By consciously consuming goods, or focusing on what we’re buying and using and how it will affect our planet, we aim to reduce the amount of trash that ends up in our landfills or polluting waterways. As more people (and hopefully, corporations and governments) focus on sustainable living, less fossil fuels will be produced, leading to a smaller overall environmental impact and reduction of greenhouse gases.


There is an infinite number of ways to live more sustainably, however, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. We recommend starting small and deciding on what area(s) you would like to focus on first and building from there. Sustainable living doesn’t mean doing everything perfectly all the time – making a conscious effort goes a long way! Here are some of our top eco-friendly tips to live more sustainably every day.

1. Ditch Single-Use Plastics

Single-use plastic has taken over our landfills, our oceans, and our lives as we prioritize convenience and ease over the health of our planet. We’ve all seen the photos of sea turtles with straws stuck up their noses or whales that have died due to eating plastic bags floating in the ocean. As it currently stands, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050, less than 30 years from now. Plastic is so durable that the EPA reports that every piece of plastic that has ever been made in history still exists today. Mindblowing, right? Especially when you think about the lifespan of your plastic fork from take-out or the straw in your cocktail. The simple act of refusing a plastic straw at a restaurant or plastic bag at the store is a small act of resistance that has a big impact. It’s nearly impossible to always avoid single-use plastic – from produce stickers to plastic bags, to plastic shipping packaging… it’s ingrained in our everyday lives. A good experiment to gauge just how much plastic comes into your life is to collect all of the plastic, single-use items you use in a week – even if you consider yourself eco-friendly, we bet you’ll be surprised at how much adds up over a short period of time. Once the week is over, you can spot patterns or areas where you might be able to reduce your consumption.
Stasher Bag // Learn the basics of sustainable living with tips on how to reduce your environmental impact by making eco friendly swaps in everyday life.
Loop is a brand looking to eliminate single-use plastics and switch common household items (like shampoo, toothpaste, ice cream, laundry detergent, etc.) from a throwaway model to a circular model – you can buy brands like Clorox, Seventh Generation, and Meow Meow Tweet in reusable metal containers, and ship the container back when you’re done! Zero waste achieved. There are tons of simple, eco-friendly product swaps you can make that will reduce the amount of plastic you consume – we’ve listed our favorites below:

2. Grocery Shop Mindfully

The grocery store can be an intimidating place, especially if you are looking to avoid single use plastics. Here are some ways to sustainably shop for food:
  • Shop at Local Co-ops or Farmer’s Markets – joining a local co-op has so many benefits, including access to mostly organic food, local and sustainable sourcing, transparent labeling, and knowledgeable staff. Farmer’s markets are great places to get organic, local, in-season produce as well and can help you shop low waste since most produce isn’t packaged (bring your own bags!)
  • Buy In-Season Produce –  the US imports produce from around the world when our farms are out of season for those items. Shipping has a large environmental impact, so learning the cadence of in-season produce will help you reduce the number of imported foods you buy.
  • Buy “Imperfect” Produce – Companies like Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market sell imperfect or “ugly” produce that can’t be sold at regular grocery stores. Nothing is wrong with these foods – they would normally be tossed because of cosmetic blemishes or food surplus.
  • Shop the Bulk Section – not only will you save money by buying in bulk, but you’ll reduce the amount of plastic in your transactions. Many shelf-stable everyday food items like oats, granola, nuts, rice, beans, chia seeds, etc. can be found in bulk bins. Some bulk sections will even carry toiletry refills such as shampoo, soap, and dish detergent! Once you have your reusable bulk containers (mason jars work perfectly!), shopping in bulk is incredibly easy.
Farmers Market // shopping local is a great eco friendly way to reduce your environmental impact for more sustainable living

3. Compost Your Food Waste

Did you know that food waste takes up more space in our landfills than any other product category? 23% of landfill space comes from food waste, and this waste rots unproductively. An easy way to make a positive impact on the planet is to start composting. There are so many benefits of composting – it prevents soil erosion, promotes healthier plant growth, cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions, and diverts waste from filling up landfills. Some cities, such as San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, have city-wide composting programs, but there are many ways to compost at home. Kristen uses the Aerobin 400 Insulated Composter to compost both food and yard waste at home. This bin is large, keeps rodents out, and doesn’t require any stirring – great for people who travel a lot, or who prefer a low maintenance compost bin. If you lack space or feel intimidated by starting your own compost bin, check at your local farmers markets to see if any local farms or community gardens take food waste and collect in a small odor-free compost bin. BFT team member Courtney uses a free service called ShareWaste for composting – you can find hosts in your area to drop off your food scraps (some hosts accept other waste as well, such as paper or yard waste – always check with the host!)
Composting is a great eco friendly tip / Learn the basics of sustainable living with tips on how to reduce your environmental impact by making eco friendly swaps in everyday life.

4. Join A CSA Or Grow Your Own Food

Buying local produce (when possible) is not only ideal for its small environmental footprint, but it is also a great way to support your local community. CSAs (community supported agriculture) have been around for more than 25 years, connecting consumers with local farmers. Interested buyers purchase a “subscription” and in return, receive a box of fresh produce weekly for the duration of the farming season. You can learn more about CSAs and find one in your area here. Kristen and her partner Ryan spent time last year creating an organic garden in their backyard, after buying raised garden beds secondhand from Facebook marketplace. You can also buy farmstead raised garden beds from EarthEasy. Through a lot of trial and error (and lots of Google searches!), they were able to grow tons of fresh, organic greens and tomatoes. Growing your own food is a great way to connect more deeply with food and is a ton of fun to watch each stage of growth. If you don’t have any outdoor space, Gardyn is an indoor vertical hydroponic growing system that has dozens of organic greens, veggies, and herbs you can grow inside your house. Kristen has been experimenting with this in her house this winter and has been amazed at how easy it’s been and the results. It also requires very little water. Included in the price is a smart-app that will guide you step-by-step how to care for your new plants, along with a monthly shipment of 10 new pods.
Gardyn // Growing food at home is an eco friendly way to reduce your environmental impact. Get more sustainable living tips here.

5. Consider Going Plant Based (Even If Only 1 Day A Week!)

One of the most significant ways to reduce your environmental impact is by switching to a plant based diet. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, emissions of greenhouse gases from the livestock supply chain make up 14.5% of total human emissions –  that’s more than total global emissions from cars, trains, planes, and boats combined! Kristen made the switch to a vegan diet in 2019 and has outlined the positive environmental impacts of a plant based diet here.  If you do choose to eat meat, treat it as an indulgence and avoid inexpensive meat produced on factory farms that pollute waterways and even drive deforestation in the Amazon. Buy local, and buy from a farm that treats their animals well and doesn’t pump them full of hormones or antibiotics.
Cooking Plant Based // A vegan diet is one of the most sustainable living swaps you can make. Get more eco friendly tips here.

6. Take Care Of Your Clothers & Gear

The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, right after the oil industry. This negative impact starts well before we ever step into a store to buy something – it begins with the large amount of water needed to produce fabrics like cotton, the wastewater runoff produced by the chemicals used to treat fabrics, the oil needed to ship goods around the world to be sold, and the plastic microfibers that are released into the water every time we wash a synthetic garment (polyester is the most well known synthetic – a lot of outdoor gear is made with this fabric, which is a form of plastic). Here are our top tips for mindfully shopping:
  • Buy Only What You Need – the most sustainable clothing items are the ones already in your closet! No need to throw away your perfectly wearable clothes in order to buy something new.
  • Repair Your Clothing and Gear – did you rip a hole in your favorite leggings while on a hike? Instead of throwing them away, take them to a local seamstress or alterations shop to get them mended or patched up! Learn how to take proper care of your outdoor gear. If your outdoor gear is showing signs of wear, check the brand’s website to see if they offer any repair services.
  • Shop Secondhand When Possible – secondhand stores, Facebook marketplace, Buy Nothing Facebook groups, and clothing swaps with friends are a great place to start! Click here for a roundup of used outdoor gear sites.
Repairing clothes instead of buying new is a great sustainable living tip. Get more eco friendly tips here.

7. Reduce Your Water Consumption

No, we’re not advocating for drinking less water – we’re talking about the water we use every day for washing our dishes, showering, etc. Here are a few ways to reduce your water usage:
  • Install a low-flow shower/toilet – did you know toilets account for 30% of all indoor water use – more than anything else? By installing a water-efficient toilet, you’ll save 20% more water, and save money on your water bill! This also works for low-flow showerheads and faucets, which also reduce your energy bill by cutting down on the amount of energy needed to heat your water.
  • Don’t fill your sink for doing dishes – instead, fill up a bowl on the counter with hot, soapy water and dip your sponge or brush in. Then, scrub over the sink & lightly rinse.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth –  sounds simple, and it is!
  • Shower less – The average 8 minute shower consumes 17 gallons of water. If van life has taught us anything, it’s that giving up a daily shower isn’t as bad as it seems. If you switch from showering every day to every other day, you could save ~60 gallons of water a week. If skipping showers isn’t an option for you, you can also save water by turning the water off while you suds up or by taking shorter quicker showers.
slide 1 to 2 of 2

8. Recycle Responsibly

Although 75% of waste in the US is recyclable, only 30% of it actually gets recycled properly. “Wishcycling”, or throwing items in the recycling bin without knowing if they can be recycled is another common problem, as any landfill items thrown in with proper recycling can contaminate the bag and cause the entire batch to go to landfill. Common “wishcycling” practices include trying to recycle “disposable” coffee cups, plastic food containers with food residue, ink cartridges, or greasy pizza boxes. Here are items that can commonly be recycled:
  • Paper: mail, magazines, newspaper, cardboard boxes (remove any packing tape), cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, shoeboxes
  • Plastic: water bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, shampoo bottles *Note: anything you recycle needs to be CLEAN and DRY. No food or product residue!
  • Glass: food and beverage containers
  • Aluminum: cans
While some recycling centers can handle multiple types of items, very few can handle all product types. Every city and recycling center has its own rules about what they can take, so it is extremely important to call your local recycling center to check their website to see exactly what items they accept. Companies such as Terracycle make recycling at home (or the office) even easier by offering zero waste boxes, coffee capsule boxes, etc. to collect your hard-to-recycle items and mail back to them.
Recycling // Learn the basics of sustainable living with tips on how to reduce your environmental impact by making eco friendly swaps in everyday life.

9. Make Eco Friendly Swaps At Home

Focusing on being eco-conscious in our kitchen, our laundry room, and our bathroom are big areas where sustainable practices go a long way. Switching to eco-friendly household cleaning products is better for the environment (not to mention your health) by eliminating all the nasty chemicals found in many of the common products out there. You can make your own cleaning products by combining white vinegar and citrus peels (like orange, lemon, grapefruit) – it can be used for everything from washing floors to fabric softener. If DIY isn’t your thing, you can purchase natural citrus cleaner here. Instead of cleaning up kitchen messes with paper towels, buy bulk cotton or linen hand towels that can be washed and reused. Rather than a typical sponge made with polyurethane (a petroleum-derived form of plastic) get a reusable, washable sponge that can easily be thrown in the laundry or the dishwasher for a refresh. In the bathroom there are many easy ways to move from throwaway items to reusable toiletries. Here are some of our favorite eco friendly bathroom items:
Laundry has a large carbon footprint due to the amount of water used, toxic chemicals found in laundry detergent, microplastics shed from synthetic clothes in the wash, and energy consumed by dryers. Here are a few of our sustainability tips for laundry:
  • Wear Clothes More Than Once – not only will this help extend the lifespan of your garments, washing clothes after one wear is generally not necessary (this excludes some categories, such as underwear)
  • Use Environmentally Friendly Laundry Detergent – chemicals are not good so close to your skin, so switching to natural laundry detergent is a win-win for your body and the environment.
  • Wash With Cold Water – 90% of the energy needed in the wash cycles comes from heating your water. Switch to only washing with cold water!
  • Air Dry Your Clothes – dryers have the largest environmental impact in the full laundry cycle. If you do need to use a dryer, use wool dryer balls (or tennis balls) in your dryer to speed up drying time.
  • Use a Guppy Bag in Your Washer – Filter harmful microplastics that are shed when washing synthetic garments and catch in a guppy bag to dispose of in the trash versus being released into waterways.
slide 6 to 8 of 6

10. Support Sustainable Businesses

Your dollar is as powerful as your vote – each time we make a purchase, we are signaling what we want to see more of in this world. When you do need to buy something new (and let’s face it – we can’t shop secondhand for everything), support companies that are striving for more sustainable materials and practices, are transparent about their business practices, or who support organizations that align with your values. Get familiar with the brands you love and their sustainability practices – look for true transparency and not just greenwashing tactics. Here are a few certifications to look for: Your money is powerful – spend it on companies that are doing good in the world.


It can feel overwhelming to know how to best support our planet and make sustainable living choices. In addition to individual action, it is imperative that we support environmental organizations that work tirelessly to elevate environmental issues at local, national, and global levels. We can also do our best to become informed citizens and learn how to vote with the environment in mind. Finally, we can urge our employers to join 1% for the Planet (or join as an individual!). Together as outdoor advocates, we can make lifestyle changes and support environmental organizations leading to big change for our planet!
Learn the basics of sustainable living with tips on how to reduce your environmental impact by making eco friendly swaps in everyday life.

What steps do you plan to take to live more sustainably or what’s your favorite sustainable living tip?

How to Spot and Use Eco-Friendly Packaging

The way a product is packaged is important to reduce its carbon footprint. BY EMMA SEYMOUR, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE AND BIRNUR ARAL, PH.D., GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE When seeking out sustainable products, you may only be thinking about the physical product itself — but how a product is packaged is just as important. Many forms of packaging cannot be recycled or reused and end up in landfills or the ocean. Even recyclable plastic packaging is often not enough, as 91% of plastics aren’t recycled, resulting in 25 million tons being dumped into the ocean each year. Nearly 30% of municipal solid waste is packaging and containers, contributing to a massive carbon footprint. Many products are packaged with too much material that can only be thrown in the trash, but "eco-friendly packaging" refers to alternatives to standard packaging that can easily be recycled, reused, or has other environmental benefits. The Good Housekeeping Institute launched our first-ever Sustainable Packaging Awards last year to draw attention to the environmental aspects of a product's packaging. Packaging is an important part of how a product is protected and how easy it is to use: We have always considered the efficiency of packaging and clarity of instructions as part of our product reviews, but for the Sustainable Packaging Awards, GH scientists and industry experts assessed 190 products' packaging based on materials, recyclability, design, minimalism, efficiency, and innovation. We awarded products that rose to the top based on our judges' scores and ensured that the products with the highest packaging scores met our Institute's effectiveness criteria — we would not endorse a product that does not work, no matter how sustainably packaged.

What is the most eco-friendly packaging?

We know that between greenwashing claims and confusing industry terms and regulations, it can be difficult to find what products are actually eco-friendly or sustainable. Here's how to find the best eco-friendly packaging and ways to make more sustainable choices when shipping products:
  • Reuse as much as possible. First and foremost, cut down on the amount of packaging you're consuming. We recommend collecting tissue paper, wrapping paper, and shipping envelopes to reuse when needed. Save cardboard boxes from online orders. Even if they break down during travel, the pieces can be used as cushioning material.
  • Remember that the less material, the better. Lighter weight materials can mean less CO2 emissions during transportation and production.
  • Know that paper is a great packing alternative to plastic as it is recycled more commonly and is biodegradable. Ideally, look for cardboard and paper that is uncoated and unwaxed instead of bubble wrap.
  • Biodegradable packing peanuts are made of potato and corn starch instead of styrofoam, so they will break down when thrown away when standard packing peanuts will not.
  • Corrugated cardboard is a great replacement for plastic containers. It can easily be reused and recycled.

How to spot eco-friendly packaging when shopping in stores

Beyond shipping and mailing, you can also help to reduce your carbon footprint by shopping for products that are packaged sustainably. Here's what to look for when shopping: ✔️Prioritize packaging with recycled content. Repurposing old materials is a great way for a brand to reuse previous waste. ✔️Seek out recyclable materials that can be easily recycled curbside at home. It's a good idea to be familiar with recycling symbols too. Here are common recyclable materials:
  • PET (polyethylene terephthalate)
  • HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
  • LDPE (low-density polyethylene)
  • PE (polyethylene)
✔️ Look for “zero-waste packaging,” meaning the product’s packaging gets returned to the manufacturer or a third party to be cleaned and refilled or upcycled instead of thrown away. A great example: Loop x Ulta partnership, which essentially rents out packaging to consumers who purchase beauty products online. The products are delivered to your doorstep in a fully reusable Loop Tote, and when you’ve used up the product, empties get picked up in the same tote and shipped back to Loop to be cleaned and reused. There's a small deposit fee for the packaging when you order the product (it's reimbursed upon the packaging's return), and the flat $10 shipping fee also covers the return of the empty containers. ✔️Avoid mixed-material packaging. If you see something packaged in multiple types of materials such as paper and plastic, remember this makes recycling difficult. You may be able to recycle each component, but you'll have to separate them first. ✔️Shop for clear glass which can be recycled, while colored glass cannot. ✔️Opt for aluminum and steel like soda cans and canned food that can easily be recycled curbside. ✔️ Avoid products with secondary packaging such as plastic ties, cardboard dividers, and packing, as many cannot be recycled. ✔️Shop simple packaging. Less coloring on the box and labels makes recycling easier. ✔️Look for refillable containers. Some products are designed so you buy packaging once and then continue to refill it over and over instead of rebuying and tossing the same product. ✔️Only buy cosmetics with primary packaging, which means no additional waste from tossed boxes or plastic packaging. A simple seal to ensure the product's integrity is all you need. Avoid packaging with pumps, droppers, and pressurized aerosol cans: None of these can be easily disposed of. ✔️Shop "naked" food. Flexible plastic wraps, films, and Styrofoam cannot be recycled or reused, so instead, look for minimal, recyclable packaging like Loop. Alternatively, shop for groceries in bulk and bring your own reusable containers. ✔️Use organic fabric reusable bags to replace single-use plastic bags while shopping. You can use them over and over again, cutting down on unnecessary waste. ✔️Buy clothing from sustainable fashion brands or better yet, buy secondhand from local thrift stores and online programs such as ThreadUp or Poshmark to reduce environmental impact.

Fire Truck


Fire Truck

GREEN TOYSamazon.com


$17.91 (36% off)


100% Natural Glossy Lipstick


100% Natural Glossy Lipstick

BURT'S BEESamazon.com


$6.59 (27% off)


Shea Butter Hand Cream


Shea Butter Hand Cream




Body Moisturizer


Body Moisturizer



Clorox Disinfecting Wipes


Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

LOOP STOREloopstore.com



Black Clay Facial Soap


Black Clay Facial Soap




 Authentic African Black Soap


Authentic African Black Soap




Dish Soap (6 Pack)


Dish Soap (6 Pack)




Online shopping is booming. Startups have a few ideas to make it more sustainable.

Goodbye, cardboard boxes and daily deliveries. Retailers are turning to reusable packaging and consolidated drop-offs to combat climate change.

An Amazon employee scans a package at a fulfillment center in Kegworth, U.K., last October. Corrugated box shipments rose 9 percent at the onset of the pandemic as Americans stocked up on household paper, cleaning supplies and food, and have remained elevated ever since. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg) By Abha Bhattarai   The pandemic set off a surge in online shopping — and with it an avalanche of cardboard boxes and home deliveries. Now a crop of start-ups is focused on making e-commerce more sustainable by reimagining the disposable box, delivery conventions and mailing schedules. One such service, Olive, being rolled out Wednesday by Jet.com co-founder Nathan Faust, is partnering with more than 100 major retailers, including Anthropologie, Paige, Ray-Ban and UGG, to consolidate home deliveries in reusable tote bags that are dropped off once a week. Other newcomers, meanwhile, offer reusable plastic mailing boxes, compostable packaging and algae-ink shipping labels. The efforts are part of a larger shift within the retail industry to eliminate single-use cardboard and plastic as consumers increasingly weigh the environmental impacts of fast and easy shipping. Brands such as Clorox, Haagen Dazs and Seventh Generation are moving toward glass, aluminum and stainless steel packaging that can be returned, cleaned and refilled for subsequent uses, with the help of Loop, a program introduced two years ago at the World Economic Forum. Sustainability experts say much of the pollution associated with online shopping occurs during “last mile” delivery, that final stretch from warehouse to doorstep. But they say packaging is perhaps an easier — and more tangible — problem to solve. Consumers’ increased reliance on online shopping during the pandemic also put a spotlight on discarded cardboard piling up in recycling bins across the country. Corrugated box shipments rose 9 percent early in the pandemic as Americans stocked up on household paper, cleaning supplies and food, and they have remained elevated in the months since, according to industry data. “There are trade-offs to shopping online and in stores,” said Scott Matthews, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University who has been studying the environmental effects of retail practices since the early 2000s. “But packaging will always be a problem that needs to be addressed.” Faust got the idea for Olive while he was taking out the trash one night. “After 30 minutes of breaking down boxes and multiple trips down the driveway, it dawned on me that this is crazy,” said Faust, 41, who co-founded Jet.com and five years ago sold it to Walmart for $3.3 billion. “Twenty-five years into online shopping, and this is what status quo delivery looks like.” He came up with a blueprint for a company that would not only reduce the amount of waste being shipped to customers’ homes but also streamline deliveries so that orders from multiple retailers are dropped off in a batch, instead of piecemeal. More than 100 apparel retailers — including Anthropologie, Finish Line, Ralph Lauren and Saks Fifth Avenue — have signed on for the service, which is backed by venture capital. “The real power comes in the last mile to the consumer’s doorstep, where so much of the emissions in the post-purchase supply chain come from, largely because it’s an average of one box per stop on the delivery route,” Faust said. “That’s where we have the biggest impact.”   Shoppers buy items as they normally would, using the company’s app or a Google Chrome plugin. When it’s time to check out, Olive has the order routed to one of its two warehouses, in Southern California or northern New Jersey. From there, workers unpack individual orders, recycle packing materials and place items in a reusable bag that is delivered once a week. The service’s benefits, Faust says, are twofold: It ensures more packaging materials are recycled properly at Olive’s facilities while eliminating multiple delivery trips throughout the week. To return an item, the shopper places it back in the shipping tote for the U.S. Postal Service to pick up. Consumers can also collapse the bag and mail it back to Olive. The service is free for consumers; Olive makes money by taking a roughly 10 percent share of each retail order. Faust says consumers are willing to wait a few extra days for their orders if it means dealing with less waste, though analysts say that could be a difficult proposition given that services such as Amazon Prime have conditioned shoppers to expect just about anything to arrive within a day or two.   To that end, Faust says he is focused on apparel orders, which tend to be fragmented because consumers buy from a range of sites, all with their own delivery timetables and conventions. The segment also has the highest return rates in e-commerce, making it a particularly good fit for reusable packaging. “With apparel, there aren’t preconceived notions of when should some things how up like there is when you shop on Amazon,” he said, adding that the company plans to eventually expand into other categories, such as cosmetics, and add more advanced tracking and delivery information. “Even when you’re buying from the same retailer, one shirt might come right away. Another might take a week. Waiting an extra two or three days for us to bring everything to you — we think the majority of customers will prefer to take that delay for waste-free delivery and doorstep returns.” The more efficient online shopping becomes, the better environmental option it becomes to in-store shopping, said Matthews of Carnegie Mellon.   Delivery trucks can make more concentrated deliveries instead of boomeranging around town, he said, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, a delivery truck that makes dozens of stops an hour is more efficient than individual shoppers driving to several stores for a handful of items at a time, he said. Retailers have also become more careful about packaging and box size, which has helped curtail waste. Amazon, which accounts for nearly 40 percent of the country’s online sales, said it has reduced packaging by 33 percent since 2015, eliminating more than 900,000 tons of packaging material, equivalent to 1.6 billion shipping boxes. (Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.) “Twenty years ago, if you ordered a book, it’d arrive in a big box with [Styrofoam] peanuts or bubble wrap,” Matthews said. “Nowadays it comes in very streamlined packaging, maybe even in a padded envelope, which means you don’t fill up trucks as fast.” When the pandemic hit last year, high-end shoe company Charix moved all of its business online. Sales boomed sixfold — but so did returns and exchanges. “We quickly realized e-commerce is very different from traditional retail,” said Suley Ozbey, who founded the D.C.-based company in 2015. “We’d get shoes back in boxes that we couldn’t use again, and it was piling up,” he said. “Our neighbors were complaining that we were taking up all of the dumpsters and we felt like, oh no, we’re throwing many good boxes.” He began looking for alternatives and found Boox, which offers brightly colored reusable plastic mailing boxes with a velcro-like fastener and don’t require packing tape. Ozbey pays about $2 per Boox, versus about 75 cents for a cardboard box, but said the investment has been worthwhile. Each plastic container can be used up to a dozen times before it’s recycled.   “There’s no clutter, there’s no trash,” he said. Boox, started six months ago by restauranteur-turned-entrepreneur Matthew Semmelhack, sells its reusable plastic mailing boxes to more than 30 specialty retailers, including Ren Skincare, Boyish Jeans and Curio Spice Co. It is nearing 50,000 shipments a month, with half of those boxes being returned by consumers. “The folding cardboard box was invented 120 years ago and hasn’t changed much since then,” said Semmelhack, 38, who lives in Petaluma, Calif. “But the way we receive packages and products has changed wildly over the last 10 or 20 years. And now with the pandemic, the number of products coming to our door has skyrocketed.” Each box can be reused about a dozen times, he said. Once returned, they’re quarantined for a week then cleaned using organic soap and water before being redeployed for more deliveries. Once the box is done for good, Semmelhack said the company works with a manufacturer that can break down the corrugated polypropylene into plastic flakes and be turned into more boxes more efficiently than cardboard recycling. Customers can return or exchange their products in the same box, or they can flatten it into an envelope and return it by mail to Boox for reuse. “The grand vision is to never throw a box away and never make a new one,” Semmelhack said. “But first we need to show that behavioral change is possible.”

Reuse and refill: The model that will help consumers quit single-use plastics

By moving away from disposable packaging, companies can address the global problem of plastic waste. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, only about 9 percent of the 9.9 billion tons of plastic generated globally since the 1950s has been recycled. And almost halfPDF of the plastic waste poisoning marine life, contaminating food, and clogging waterways and sewers comes from consumer packaging. As citizens and governments wake up to this plastic pollution problem, they’re turning to business to solve it. In response, companies are trying to craft new approaches to plastic, whether reducing overpackaging or rolling out biodegradable materials made of seaweed and cornstarch. But one solution — the reuse and refill business model — stands out for its potential to shift consumer behaviors while unlocking new revenue streams and cost savings for companies. It’s easy to see why cheap, sturdy, and lightweight plastic quickly became a convenient, even innovative, packaging option for consumers. The popularity of plastic skyrocketed in developed countries in the 1970s after the invention of the polyethylene shopping bag. Within two decades, plastic packaging had flooded the world; consider how, in developing countries, companies have marketed items as varied as shampoo and hot sauce in tiny single-use sachets. Products in cheap, throwaway packaging solved immediate consumer problems — for example, by offering unbeatable value pricing to millions of low-income consumers — but created a long-term health and environmental disaster. Now, businesses such as Chilean startup Algramo, literally meaning “by the gram,” are tackling the crisis by offering the same value to consumers, but in reusable containers. Algramo makes products including rice, detergent, and other everyday staples available in small, affordable quantities via smart vending machines and reusable containers. Its bottles are equipped with RFID tags that allow consumers to earn discount credits with each use, incentivizing them to refill rather than throw away the containers. Flush with funding from Closed Loop Partners, Algramo is set to introduce this innovation in the U.S., too. It has good reason to do so: On a per capita basis, North America, Japan, and Europe generate the most plastic waste. Algramo is in good company. As part of the New Plastics Economy initiative, launched two years ago by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the U.N. Environment Programme, more than 400 organizations have set concrete targets toward reducing plastic use by 2025. Many of those companies, both startups and established brands, are testing reuse and refill solutions. Their motivations aren’t strictly altruistic: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates a US$10 billion business opportunity in converting even 20 percent of global plastic packaging to a reusable model.  

The pandemic could have ruined this sustainable business. But instead, it's expanding nationwide.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, local governments and big companies quickly changed their tune on reducing single-use plastics. They started prohibiting cloth totes in grocery stores and rejecting reusable coffee mugs at cafes. They embraced disposables once again, seeing them as the safer, more hygienic option.
Maine delayed its plastic bag ban from April 2020 to January of next year. San Francisco in March instructed businesses to bar customers from using their own bags, mugs or other reusable items in order to promote social distancing. Meanwhile, Starbucks (SBUXstopped allowing people to use their own mugs, and McDonald's (MCDdecided to close self-serve soda fountains as it reopens its doors.
For Loop, a shopping service that sells items from Häagen-Dazs ice cream to Tide laundry detergent in reusable packages rather than the single-use containers that normally hold the products, consumer fears around reuse could pose an existential threat. But instead of retreating during the pandemic, the project has reported sudden increases in sales and is about to expand in a big way. Loop, which launched as a pilot last year in the Northeastern US and Paris, is planning to expand to the 48 contiguous states by July 1.

3 Reusable Packaging Perspectives from Popular Brands

Executives from The Clorox Co., Nestlé and entrepreneur Soapply share insights into the sustainability and cleanliness of reusable packages for products sold through Loop’s shopping platform, especially in a post-pandemic world. Last year, recycling/upcycling firm TerraCycle launched Loop, a shopping platform for zero-waste-packaging products, with the support of some of the world’s biggest brands (see “Loop and big brands boldly reinvent waste-free packaging.”) Together, the eco-commerce provider and the brands have learned that there is indeed a market of consumers who will by Crest mouthwash, Tide laundry detergent, and myriad other products from Loop’s online store — then return their empty packages to be cleaned, refilled, and reused. Since its early 2019 introduction, Loop’s business has grown from a direct-to-your-doorstep model with regional service to testing of mass-market retail partnerships to imminent national coverage. Retail partners include Kroger and Walgreens in the US market, Canada’s Loblaws, and the U.K.-based Tesco chain. Germany and Japan are on the horizon, too.

Loop to Launch E-Comm Platform Nationwide

Loop products in returnable packaging are scheduled for launch nationwide this month, while retail partners in the U.S., France, and Japan plan to offer Loop in their stores later this year. For those consumers going the e-commerce route, there is a $20 shipping fee for orders under $150. In addition, the tote used to deliver and return product comes with a $15 deposit fee. For those consumers going the e-commerce route, there is a $20 shipping fee for orders under $150. In addition, the tote used to deliver and return product comes with a $15 deposit fee. As of presstime, consumers across the U.S. who are interested in shopping online for a range of grocery, household, and personal care products in gorgeously designed, durable, and resusable packaging will have the chance in June, when Loop launches nationwide. Since May 2019, the ground-breaking Loop circular shopping platform has been available in 10 states in the Northeast and in Paris. According to Tom Szaky, founder of recycling company TerraCycle and of Loop, the 10-month pilot allowed participating Consumer Packaged Goods companies, retailers, and Loop itself to gain insights and tweak the program for wider availability. Just as exciting, if not more so, according to Szaky, is the news that Loop will be launching in retail stores, including Kroger in the U.S., Carrefour in France, and AEON in Japan, later this year. Currently 400 brands have joined Loop, 20% of which are now available for purchase on Loopstore.com and 80% of which are still in development. Says Szaky, it can take a CPG anywhere from six to 18 months from the time they join Loop until they have product ready to ship. Among some of the more well-known CPGs that have signed on are Seventh Generation, Clorox, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Unilever, and Mars Petcare. Loop also sells a “private-label” brand, Puretto, which Szaky says is being used by name-brand companies to test products on the platform while they develop their own, unique version. “As soon as that version is live, we disable the Puretto version,” he explains. Szaky notes that the rapid speed of the nationwide launch—Loop was only just unveiled in February 2019—is due to the fact that “it’s a platform and not a producer or retailer.” He continues, “By being a platform, it is really our fantastic brand partners that are doing all the production and ramping up, and the retailers that are doing the scale up and later the in-store deployments. What we really have to ramp up is the ability to accept that used packaging, sort it out, and clean it. And that’s an area that TerraCycle has almost two decades of experience doing in disposables. Now we just have to bring the same experience to reusables.” With the e-commerce model, all packaging—both filled and empty—is handled through Loop’s Northeast location, from which it sends orders to consumers and where it cleans the empty packaging. Loop will also soon be adding another location on the West Coast. “As the stores move into bigger and bigger volumes, we will deploy in total seven major facilities in the U.S.,” Szaky says. “I expect that to take about two to three years.” Outside the U.S., Loop has one facility in each country in which it operates and is planning to add more. When the in-store platform becomes available, CPGs will supply the stores with product directly. Then, when consumers are through with the product, they will drop off the empty packaging at the store, and Loop will pick it up for cleaning. For those consumers going the e-commerce route, there is a $20 shipping fee for orders under $150. In addition, the tote used to deliver and return product comes with a $15 deposit fee. Deposits are also required for every package and range anywhere from $1.25 for a glass liquid soap dispenser bottle from Soapply, for example, up to $10 for a rust-resistant metal container with one-touch dispensing lid for Clorox disinfecting wipes. One of the biggest learnings from the Loop pilot says Szaky is that the deposit costs have not deterred consumers from using Loop. “I thought they would be, but they haven’t in any capacity,” he says. “Even deposits as high as $10 have not been a deterrent. So we’re very, very happy about that.” Not only that, Szaky says, but they also found that within 90 days of purchase, there was a 97% return rate for the packaging by consumers. “I was surprised, but I think it has to do with the fact that people want the product inside, and they’re happy to have us professionally clean it and have it professionally refilled so they can access it again.” For the in-store business, the only deposits are for the containers, which consumers are refunded when they return the empty packaging to the store.  

Reusable packaging in the time of COVID-19

Recyclable, reusable eco friendly bags, package, bottles, cans and storage containers, mesh bag. The novel coronavirus had cases on every continent except Antarctica when it was declared a global pandemic March 11. The crisis was brewing long before, and the United States federal emergency and stay-at-home orders would come after, but it was in that official moment of alarm that consumer behavior, and business’s response to it, changed across the country. Almost immediately, reusables and durable items took a spotlight as potentially undesirable. The socially sanctioned practice of bring-your-own shopping bags and coffee mugs came to a halt and was enforced at retail locations, as did the use of glass and durable tableware in bars and restaurants before dine-in service stopped. Even in states that previously had instituted bans on single-use items such as plastic bags (temporarily lifted with new bans on their reusable counterparts), there has been a swap to disposables, thought to be more sanitary than durable products and packaging intended to be used many times, sometimes by many people. In an evolving age of contagion, we are still only beginning to understand the perception of reusables is that they are vehicles for a virus. But reuse in and of itself isn’t the problem here; it’s the way it’s done.  
Reusable packaging is faced with proving its trustworthiness alongside disposables in a world that is standing six feet apart in the grocery aisle.
Take the dentist. Year-round, people young and old go for routine check-ups and surgeries administered by tools and equipment that come in contact with pathogens and people potentially infected with serious diseases. It’s a practice that often draws blood, and yet, the items are used over and over again, on many folks, and everyone’s OK with it. The reason for this is trust. Despite that most of us will never see it in action, we trust the tools are being sterilized properly. If we didn’t have faith in this, we’d choose another provider or stop going to the dentist. Reusable packaging is faced with proving its trustworthiness alongside disposables in a world that is standing six feet apart in the grocery aisle. Trusting others to be clean and safe on your behalf is a liability that can result in someone getting sued, or sick, which is why many consumers are opting for goods in single-use packaging and some eateries frown upon patrons taking leftovers home in their own containers in "normal times." Disposable packages are painted as sterile, while durables are tainted with suspicion. To be clear, unless explicitly labeled "sterile," single-use is no more safe, as both are potentially exposed to different elements in packing, pallet and transport. They are touched by many people, and the independent organizations setting the standards and monitoring respective microbial limits vary. But trust is a risk, and businesses championing reuse that are able to meet people where they are, COVID-19 notwithstanding, stand to benefit. The sort of systems-thinking that considers the consumer and their values now and beyond this time of uncertainty creates value through a sense of community and meaningful connection that’s both scalable and adaptable. At the start of this pandemic, our new Loop platform was at the center of some of this discourse, the returnable, refillable packaging model a subject of wonder. In a world where consumers are anxious and making purchases with safety, ease and comfort top of mind, could a zero waste, circular shopping platform of returnable glass, metal and plastic containers survive? Now, we can report that our sales for April nearly doubled what we did in March, half of which was spent out of an official emergency. Our bestsellers were refillable Clorox wipes (the "disposable" sheets recyclable through TerraCycle) and Häagen-Dazs ice cream in insulated metal tubs. The Loop service will be available first in the metropolitan areas near New York and Paris.
Media Authorship
All of the essential things people are buying (and bought in frenzy at the start: cleaning supplies; personal care; soap; pasta) are on Loop, and we’ve found consumers are comfortable with the reuse aspect, as the service is conveniently delivered by our logistics provider UPS, offers items in beautiful packages and was contactless prior to the pandemic. Consumers can toss their empties in the Loop Tote with the same ease as throwing an item in the trash, and don’t need to do any cleaning themselves. Unlike the durable coffee cup systems and reusable bags hibernating now, health and safety protocols and industrial cleaning processes are in place in our reuse system. Interestingly, as consumers look for a connection to what they buy and a meaningful way to shop, we are seeing competitors in the coming of COVID-19: the actual, modern-day milkman. Home delivery is important to consumers, as is shopping positively in a retro-style model, so if not for the social impacts, the no-contact and returnable packaging system is appealing. From its initial launch to Paris, France and in 10 states in the Northeastern United States, Loop recently announced its expansion to all 48 contiguous states and is slated to officially go live nationwide this summer, which means more people soon will be able to order. The next phase of the shopping platform, currently all digital commerce, will be to integrate in retail locations, where consumers can return empty containers and shop for refills in-store. We can’t project how or when retail will return to "normal," or what a new normal will look like. But by having met people where they are at home and online and establishing trust in a difficult situation, we anticipate consumers will continue to engage with Loop in a post-social distancing world. Brands and retailers working towards plans for circularity can gain tangible returns even (or especially) now by reaching people through continued investment in their present and future. Putting this on the backburner in a health crisis is short-sighted. With so much to fear today, the opportunity to trust is one that consumers desire, and businesses are in a position to give.
Veronica Rajadnya Writing & Content Manager TerraCycle, Inc.
Office: 609-393-4252 ext. 3702 1 TerraCycle Way Trenton, NJ  08638 USA www.terracycle.com Eliminating the Idea of Waste® Please consider the planet before printing. This email and any attachments thereto may contain private, confidential, and privileged material for the sole use of the intended recipient. Any review, copying, or distribution of this email (or any attachments thereto) by others is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender immediately and permanently delete the original and any copies of this email and any attachments thereto.