Posts with term Glad X

Are we there yet?

Do you pause with plastic poised over your waste bin, squinting to see recycling numbers, or question the compostability of a coffee cup? You have company. Colmar Brunton’s 2020 Better Futures report found 67% of us want more business environmental action. We toss 97 million plastic bottles into landfill, yet half of us say we would switch brands based on sustainability. Perhaps we should take more personal responsibility. Sandford, a self-professed ‘sustainable’ fishery, packs my market fish on a plastic tray with no recycling number, then clingwraps it. Following my enquiry, it says it is moving to using sustainable packaging. After a call to Hellers about the lack of a recycling number on packs, Brydon Heller replied that customer pressure is prompting them to change to recyclable packaging. So speak up. The supermarket that banned plastic carry-bags festoons me with produce plastic bags, so my veges now go loose to the checkout. Last year, a report from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor came to the worrying conclusion that there is no coordinated approach to reporting plastics use. But the report is baffling – it stated the aim of onshore recycling by 2025 of PET, HDPE, PP and perhaps LDPE. Elsewhere, the kids’ ‘ecovibe’ drinking straws are PLA, and my freezer bags are BPA-free. Have I missed a lifestyle eco-glossary? Today, plastics comprise 85% of the world’s beach litter, most of which is food-related. Does greed drive prolific packaging, or is it the increased demand of a growing world? Sir David Attenborough reminded the British parliament recently that the mantra of continuing economic growth in a finite environment belongs to either an economist or a madman. You can jolly nearly obliterate plastics with the stroke of a pen said the 94-year-old broadcaster, adding, “If you can convert or get rid of plastic waste economically, there’s a fortune to be made.” In 2003, Tom Szaky launched international recycling company TerraCycle, now operating here. He believes it is more economical to manufacture from recycled than from virgin materials. Despite almost all products being ‘technically’ recyclable, he says only four are commonly accepted – clear glass, uncoated paper, certain rigid plastics and certain metals. Inventive TerraCycle accepts Gladwrap, Caffe L’Affare and Nescafé capsules and even cigarette butts, destined to become compost, park benches, pallets, or (ironically) ashtrays. It also invented chewing-gum recycling. In New Zealand, “plastic recycling is broken,” says Innocent Packaging’s general manager, Fraser Hanson. He began in 2013 in a garage, and now employs 15 staff making packaging from bagasse (a sugar byproduct), straw, paper and corn starch and Innocent composting bins sit outside 50 Auckland cafés. Hanson says our plastic production has increased twentyfold since 1964, yet just 5% of plastics are recycled effectively. My local council (Far North) has reduced its recyclable plastics list, and their Solid Waste Engineer admits, “We recycle what we have a market for.”  So, plastic 5 is off the menu for one- third of our local councils. However, jam makers Anathoth-Barkers say we import valuable plastic 5 because recyclers can’t collect enough. Processed into granules it makes low-grade items such as planters and buckets. Plastics NZ admits that “recycling is currently a minefield of confusion.” Take ‘compostable’ PLA (polylactic acid) drinking straws. Made from naturally occurring plant material, they require high-temperature composting and do not decompose in landfill or waterways. Some containers state ‘commercially compostable’ and, as of May last year, 12 facilities from Kerikeri to Timaru exist where the requisite 55-degree temperature is maintained. That’s also possible in a well-managed home compost system. Bostock Brothers packs its free-range chicken in home- compostable Grounded Packaging. Ben Grant from Grounded says the end- of-life process for packaging is poorly  understood. “Nationally the recycling stream doesn’t work; the chances of getting recycled are, more or less, none.” Composting, however, is a different story. Ben Bostock says their bioplastic packaging was developed to ensure shelf life. “We’ve had a lot of people say they don’t normally buy organic chicken because of the price, but they’re buying ours because of home-compostable packaging.” Bostocks themselves will hot-compost any packaging returned by consumers unable to compost at home, using it for fertilising hen-food crops. Sublime Coffee Roasters, frustrated with a tardy local council, developed its own hot compost system, diverting from landfill more than 5000 cups and lids a month in Nelson and Palmerston North. Nespresso also recycles its aluminium pods returned to them by consumers. For a reusable, recycled coffee cup, check the ingenious rCup from Ashortwalk Ltd in Cornwall, the idea of Dyson designer, Don Dicker, who says 500 billion disposable cups being thrown away annually, motivated him to create recycled products. Air New Zealand welcomes reusable cups onboard, and Head of Sustainability, Lisa Daniell, says they have diverted nearly 900 tonnes of flight waste from landfill since 2017. They’ve trialled edible cups which Customer Experience Manager Niki Chave home-tested, reporting, “The coffee cup will hold up, and stay crisp, much longer than it will take for you to drink your coffee.” There are more successes to smile about. Colgate has an international scheme to take back all brands of toothpaste tubes, brushes, floss containers and packaging. Its TerraCycle partnership has 2000 collection hubs from Kaitaia to Tokanui and a free- post scheme. Last year, New Zealand schools and charities received $70,000 from the scheme, along with lunch bags made from recycled toothpaste tubes. Support supermarket moves like the Food in the Nude initiative that began in New World’s Bishopdale store in Christchurch. Owner Nigel Bond says sales of some unwrapped veges increased up to 30%. Clean bread bags, bubble wrap and soft plastic packs, including foiled potato chip bags, can be recycled at The Warehouse, Huckleberry and 37 Countdown stores. They become recyclable fence posts and ducting. Graduates from the country’s top hospitality college, QRC, are charged to lead a culture of change says CEO Charlie Phillips. “Plastic packaging becomes ingrained, but it has not always been like that. We need to revert back to the future.” In the words of Ben & Jerry’s founder Jerry Greenfield, we’re “sheltered from the environmental and human impact of our everyday decisions and lifestyles.” So, let’s take more personal responsibility. Speak up and exercise the power of consumer choice. As Sir David Attenborough says, “The only way I get up in the morning is to say ‘Something’s got to be done, and I will do my best to bring that about.’” NOTE For a list of soft plastic collection points and recycling partners go to recycling.kiwi.nz.

What's New With Loop? How the 21st-Century Milkman is Coping With COVID-19

The plastics industry has seized the opportunity to pressure lawmakers to permanently undo bag bans and similar legislation. But others, including executives at the reusable packaging platform Loop, aren't buying it. "Single-use is not sterile either," Heather Crawford, Loop’s global VP of marketing and e-commerce, told TriplePundit. "When you buy a disposable package off the shelf, it's been exposed to all kinds of different elements across the supply chain, including packing, transport, or even the customer who picked it up before you and put it back. Reuse in and of itself isn't the problem. It's the method by which it's done."

Giant brands love Loop’s zero-waste packaging—and now it’s coming to a store near you

A year ago, a coalition of some of the world’s biggest brands embarked on an experiment: If they started selling everyday products like shampoo in reusable, returnable packaging instead of single-use plastic, would customers buy it? Could a modern version of the milkman model—where customers shop online, and then return empty containers via UPS to be cleaned and refilled for a new customer—make business sense? For brands, the new platform, called Loop, was a radical step to test fundamental changes to how they package and deliver products, driven by consumer pressure to deal with the problem of plastic pollution. The first pilots started in May 2019. The tests have been successful enough that the system is now rapidly expanding and will soon launch in retail stores. [Photo: courtesy Loop] “Companies are looking for new ways to address packaging and reduce waste, and consumers are demanding it,” says Steve Yeh, a project manager at Häagen-Dazs, the Nestlé-owned ice cream brand. The brand committed major resources to developing new packaging for the pilot: a novel stainless steel ice cream canister that’s designed to keep ice cream cold longer. It then can be sent back, sterilized in a state-of-the-art cleaning system, and reused. (It also looks a lot nicer on your counter.) The system is designed to be simple for consumers—in theory, nearly as easy as buying something in a disposable package and throwing that package in the trash. Online orders are delivered in a reusable tote, and when a customer has an empty container, it goes back in the tote, the customer schedules a pickup, the packages are returned for reuse, and the customer gets back a deposit that they paid for the package (or, if they’ve reordered the product, the deposit stays in an account and they don’t pay it again). Despite using heavier packages, more transportation, and cleaning, it has a lower carbon footprint than single-use packaging. And it keeps packages out of landfills and the ocean. “We all know that recycling alone will not be enough,” says Sara Wingstrand, who leads the innovation team at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an organization focused on the circular economy. “This is a whole new way to actually think about how you can bring products to people.” [Photo: courtesy Loop] In Nestlé’s case, an internal team went through 15 iterations to reach the final design of the ice cream container, which has benefits beyond reducing waste. The package has a double metal lining, so it’s comfortable to hold, but keeps the ice cream inside from melting; it’s also designed to melt a little more quickly at the top, so it’s easier to scoop than it otherwise would be. Rounded edges mean that ice cream doesn’t get stuck in the bottom corners. And it looks better than a disposable package. The aesthetics, surprisingly, have been a bigger driver in the pilot’s success than the environmental benefits. “People actually are attracted to Loop first for design, second for reuse,” says Tom Szaky, CEO of Terracycle, the recycling company that first helped create the coalition of brands to test the platform, who is now also CEO of Loop. “The design is so important to consumers—more than I ever thought it would be.” It’s proof, he says, of what’s possible when the economics of packaging change. “If you go back 100 years and look at what your cookies came in or what your beer came in, it was a significantly greater investment in the package. As we make packaging lighter and cheaper, it becomes less recyclable, essentially growing the garbage crisis. And as we spend less money, [packages] clearly become less exciting and less desirable. The response to Loop is a simple one: Let’s shift ownership of the package in the end back to the manufacturer. And as such, they treat it as an asset and they can start investing in the pack again.” [Photo: courtesy Loop] The investment in the packages means that for the system to work, consumers have to put down a deposit for each container. In the pilot, Loop says that customers haven’t been sensitive to the price. “It’s not money out of your pocket,” says Donna Liu, a customer in New Jersey who has been using the system for several months. After the initial deposit, customers don’t have to pay again as they continue reordering the same products, and they can ultimately get the money back. But the deposits are steep, and would likely deter lower-income customers. In one review, a Huffington Post writer noted that she paid $32 in deposits for only six items (in addition to $20 in shipping, and the cost of the products themselves). Loop says it plans to have the costs come down as the system scales up. “Today, in small scale, it makes no economic sense because everything is inefficient in small scale,” says Szaky. “But a lot of our retail partners and our brand partners have modeled this in large scale. And it’s come out very exciting—it’s going to be able to be executed at scale and not cost the consumer more.” Wingstrand, who is not involved with Loop, notes that some other reusable models are already economically viable at scale, such as reusable water jugs delivered to offices. The e-commerce pilot has faced some challenges. Some customers complained about the small selection of products. Those who live in small apartments don’t like the bulky size of the reusable tote, which has enough padding inside to accommodate 16 wine bottles; one reviewer said that she was forced to use it as an ottoman until she was ready to send packages back. But moving to retail stores could help alleviate these issues. [Photo: courtesy Loop] Today, the online store has more than 150 products, including Tide detergent and Pantene shampoo in stainless steel containers, Nature’s Path granola in glass jars, and products from smaller brands like Reinberger Nut Butter. But that’s a tiny fraction of the hundreds of products online at, say, Walgreens, and one of the biggest questions from customers in the pilot has been when more products will be available. Szaky says that Loop is adding a new brand roughly every two days—but there’s a long development process for new packaging after a company joins. “This is not an overnight thing,” he says. “It takes maybe a year to get a product up and running.” In retail stores, though, customers can pick and choose which Loop products to use. “By the retailer listing in-store, the benefit to the consumer is they can go shop the Loop section, which will grow every day and get bigger and bigger, but whatever they don’t find in the Loop section they can still buy traditionally,” says Szaky. Customers can also avoid the hassle of shipping empty containers back and the size of the reusable tote; for retail returns, customers will toss containers in a reusable garbage bag and then bring them back to the store. It’s still designed to be simpler than traditional refill systems in stores—rather than cleaning and refilling your own container, you bring back dirty containers, drop them off, and buy already-packaged products on the shelf. As with online orders, you’ll pay a deposit on the container and then get it back when the container is returned. [Photo: courtesy Loop] The online pilot launched last May in and around Paris, New York City, and a few nearby areas; the startup has since added Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Vermont, and Rhode Island. It will soon expand to California as well as the U.K., Canada, Germany, and Japan, and will launch in Australia next year. Retail sales will begin later this year with Walgreens and Kroger in the U.S., Carrefour in France, Tesco in the U.K., and Loblaws in Canada. Loop won’t share specific numbers, but says that it’s seeing high numbers of repeat orders from its initial customers. The size of the pilot was limited, but more than 100,000 people applied. The startup envisions the model growing like organic food. “Every store started having a small section dedicated to organic products, but not all products had an organic alternative,” Szaky says. “That’s how it began, then it got bigger and bigger. And some stores like Costco have moved everything over to organic.” He notes that organic food still represents only about 5% of the market, and that has taken decades, but it’s a reasonable comparison. [Photo: courtesy Loop] The number of options will continue to grow. In a recent report, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimated that converting just 20% of plastic packaging to reusable models is now a $10 billion business opportunity. But Szazky sees it not as an opportunity, but an imperative. As he told Harvard Business Review in a recent interview: “I think that we’re going to see some organizations die because of this. Others will pivot. . . . Some organizations, like Nestlé, Unilever, and P&G, are taking these issues seriously and making the difficult decisions that may negatively impact the short term but lay the foundation to be relevant in the long term. Inversely, organizations—like many big food companies in the U.S.—are blind to what’s coming and will likely be overtaken by startups that are building their business models around the new reality that is emerging.” [Photo: courtesy Loop] For the brands that are pivoting, Loop is helping push them to experiment with reusable packaging. Häagen-Dazs is already using the container it designed for the system in stores in New York City, where customers bring it back an average of 62% of the time. (At the ice cream shops, customers don’t pay a deposit, but buy the container outright and then get discounts on ice cream each time they bring it back.) It now plans to roll out the container in 200 of its other stores. Unilever—which has products from brands like Love Beauty and Planet on the platform and is preparing to launch more products from Seventh Generation, Hellman’s, Dove deodorant, and others this year—is also experimenting with in-store refill systems and partnering with startups like Algramo, a Chile-based company that offers a mobile refill system on electric tricycles. “I think Loop provides a really good platform to start testing reusable packaging without setting everything up yourself,” says Wingstrand. “But I do think it’s very important to go very broad and make sure that not only are you putting and testing new packaging formats on the Loop platform, but you’re also trying to understand how the user might interact with a refill system, or how you might supply things in a compact format, or how you might even completely design out the packaging.”

In a Circular Economy, Leaders Look to Eliminate Waste

Proponents of the circular economy say recycling isn’t enough to solve our waste issue. But how far are consumers willing to go with reusable packaging?

The circular economy is creating a buzz as startups pop up across the globe. But innovators are counting on consumers to opt-in, and behavior change isn't always easy. I gave the latest circular economy trend a try and found that it wasn't what I expected.   In 2014, I made a New Year's resolution to stop purchasing beverages in single-use plastic containers. A year later, I included snack food. But when I tried to go plastic-free, I was stumped. Plastic is everywhere. My local grocery store sold broccoli wrapped in plastic. I couldn't find the food, supplies, or things I wanted, without throwaway packaging — and I wasn't willing to part with my essentials. Since then, I've been keeping an eye out for innovative ways to reduce disposable plastic — a growing interest for consumers, to which innovators are responding.

Innovators Lead the Way

Some companies are making products from recycled materials, like Adidas, who partnered with Parley for the Oceans to make sneakers from ocean-plastic yarn. Others opt for making products that can be repaired, like FairPhone, which makes smartphones with modular, upgradeable components. Companies like LoopGreenToGo, and Humankind aim to reduce packaging waste by replacing disposable containers with tough ones and creating a system to return and reuse.   "The real garbage problem comes from the idea of disposables, and that is where we need to start." ANTHONY ROSSI, VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT, LOOP   Unlike the linear "take-and-trash" economy, the circular economy, also known as circularity, strives to cut waste completely while embracing alternatives like refurbishment, repair, and reuse. Experts argue that "recycling" doesn't always come into play because circularity isn't only about reducing trash. It takes into account resources. Recycling reduces an object down to the "material" level. The inherent value gained from other resource inputs like design, manufacturing, shipping, etc. is lost when an item is recycled. Proponents of circularity say "recycling is a last resort." Being steps ahead of me, tossing an item in the trash, wasn't even on their mind. "The idea of the circular economy is that we need to be preventing waste. Solid waste, but also waste that comes from inefficient systems or inefficient design," says Jennifer Russell, Assistant professor at Virginia Tech Department of Sustainable Biomaterials. She was a lead author on a UN report that quantified the benefits and impact of transitioning to a circular economy. She says while reuse and repair may be the most energy-efficient options, remanufacturing and refurbishment isn't too far behind. "Even in the most intensive remanufacturing process, it's still significantly less than the effort and energy required to make a brand new one. If we start to design (products) better, we can get more efficient at those circular processes, and we can reduce the impacts even more," Russell says, adding that of the products she surveyed, refurbishing industrial digital printers had the highest impact, which was still lower than building a new one.   Illustration by Andrew Brumagen / Freethink.

Changing Behavior

When I was in Durham, North Carolina, I gave GreenToGo a try. You can bring your own container to restaurants for leftovers, but the FDA doesn't allow restaurants to prepare take-out food in containers customers provide. Their only option is disposable containers, often of the plastic clam-shell variety. GreenToGo created a workaround. They stock restaurants with reusable take-out containers, then wash and sanitize them after they are returned by patrons at stations across downtown Durham. I ordered a sandwich from the restaurant Toast, to-go. Ordering was easy. For people that frequent downtown, it is just as easy to slip the container in the return bin during the next visit. Being a visitor, I made a special detour. Not everyone is as willing as I am to try a new system. Anthony Rossi, Loop's Vice President of Global Development, says that behavior change is one of the biggest challenges they face at Loop. The startup launched last year and is still in the early stages. "We don't believe in garbage, and we want to eliminate it," Rossi says. The company partnered with big brands like Clorox, Glad, and Haagen Dazs. Through a mail-order service, Loop offers patrons their favorite food or household supplies in durable — and admittedly adorable — reusable containers for a deposit. Then, they take the empty containers back, refund the deposit, and reuse the containers.   The US produces approximately 234lb of plastic waste per person per year. Studies show that if present trends continue there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills around the world by 2050. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay. "What remains to be seen, and something worth studying, and I think that it's true, even if you are making it more durable and cleaning it multiple times and shipping something slightly heavier, it's still going to create a net benefit from an environmental impact perspective, relative to if we just keep making things brand new," Russell says. Rossi says companies have honed their production and distribution down to a smooth, efficient process. Asking them to change... well, it takes a lot of convincing. What's more, Loop is also asking consumers to consume a product differently. "Innately people want to do the right thing. People don't like garbage," Rossi says, adding that, "Behavior change doesn't come easy. If we tried this three years ago, I'm not sure we would have had the reception we have."

Recycling Won’t Solve the Plastic Problem

Loop is a corporate startup of TerraCycle. Rossi says the idea was born during a company conversation about innovative recycling efforts. CEO Tom Szaky asked the team if recycling was the goal they should have in 50 years. The resounding answer was "no." "Recycling everything and making everything out of recycled content is a utopian idea. We are very far from that. The real garbage problem comes from the idea of disposables, and that is where we need to start," Rossi says.   A repurposed aluminum bottle for laundry detergent. Image courtesy of Loop. Daniella Russo, CEO of Think Beyond Plastic, says recycling plastic is a challenge. Today's low oil prices render new plastic the cheapest and most durable option for packaging. "Recycling (plastic) is non-viable economically because the recycled material is more expensive than the use of virgin plastic," she says, adding that metal, glass, and paper are economically viable because manufacturing them costs more than recycled material. What's more, plastic is a catch-22. It is durable and cheap but comes with a hefty waste burden and potential public health concerns due to chemicals that can leach into food or beverages stored in plastic containers. Think Beyond Plastics helps organizations find alternatives to plastic. "We're not against recycling, we just don't think it will solve the plastic problem. Not everything needs to be packaged and overpackaged in plastic," she says.

Eliminating Plastics Could Bring Additional Challenges

Still, plastic has its upsides. For example, a product's weight drives negative environmental impacts — heavier objects require more energy to produce and ship. But heavier doesn't always mean reusable, unless there is a system designed to collect and clean them. Recently, packaging designs have been evolving to be lighter and thinner. "Light-weighting" packages use fewer materials and less energy to manufacture and transport, when compared per unit, such as thinner plastic water bottles. Thin plastic wrap, which is so hard to avoid at the supermarket, has been shown to reduce food waste in commercial settings, Russell says. (At home, however, glass containers or Tupperware will work just fine.) Finally, plastic is durable and cheap. Companies can easily have it designed to meet their needs. So, it is a balancing act. Tipping the scale away from plastics will solve some problems, but could present additional challenges. I sat down to give Loop a try earlier this week. I planned to order my household essentials — granola, dried fruits, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc. I'm a sucker for attractive packaging — and Loop nailed that one. I'll admit, doing laundry would be a lot more fun with a cute aluminum bottle of laundry soap. But as I added items to my virtual shopping cart, the cost, plus deposit made my jaw drop. Also, I couldn't find enough products that I wanted that would put me into the minimum order size for free shipping. The $15 shipping fee for small orders was the final dealbreaker. Rossi says there are 300 more products in development. I'm keeping an eye on Loop's progress and plan to try their subscription option when they have more of my favorites.

Consumer Demand for Better Packaging Might Just Save the Planet

  When he founded TerraCycle in 2001, Tom Szaky was in the business of keeping tough-to-recycle products out of landfills. In 2019, he expanded that mandate with a service called Loop, which focuses on reusing packaging instead of merely recycling it. In partnership with several well-known brands, Loop offers household goods from olive oil to laundry detergent in reusable containers that are either delivered direct to consumers or available through two major retail outlets, then collects, cleans and refills them—much like a modern-day milkman. When Szaky sought to better understand why people were purchasing items through Loop, he was surprised by the results. Survey data revealed that two-thirds of Loop customers were mainly drawn to the program because of its packaging design; only one-third prioritized the sustainability aspect. Since Loop is all about saving the planet by eliminating waste, Szaky had expected the inverse. “A better experience with packaging is the primary driver,” Szaky told Adweek. “The secondary driver is sustainability.” Earlier this week, during a presentation at the National Retail Federation’s annual conference in New York, Szaky stressed the importance of aesthetics in consumer decision-making. While people often buy shampoo twice as often as they buy conditioner, Loop shoppers purchase an equal amount of Pantene shampoo and conditioner, according to Szaky. Why? Although he didn’t disclose exact figures, internal polling revealed that people thought the bottles—which come in a matching gold-and-white color scheme, and feature images of sea life—looked good together. But it’s not just about beauty. Szaky argued that tubs of Häagen-Dazs ice cream sold on Loop are simply better than the typical cardboard cartons found at grocery stores because they’re dual-layered, providing thermal insulation so that consumers’ hands remain warm while the ice cream stays frozen. The inside of the container is also concave, making the ice cream easier to scoop out. Szaky added that even the product itself can benefit from better packaging. The team at Coca-Cola apparently told him Coke tastes best in a glass bottle, then aluminum, then plastic. One key change that allows for better packaging design through the Loop system, as opposed to a convenience store or vending machine, is the transfer of package ownership from consumer to manufacturer, Szaky said. When a company is responsible for a durable container meant for multiple uses, it’s treated like an asset as opposed to the cost of goods sold. Since Loop requires a security deposit with each purchase, companies are given extra leeway to invest even more money into their packaging design, generating better functions and features. “Can you imagine what you could do with a package budget of $30 per unit?” he said. He noted that customers have shown little to no sensitivity to the deposit price, either. A can of Clorox disinfecting wipes, for instance, costs $5.49 to purchase, plus an additional $10 deposit. Despite this, Szaky said Clorox wipes are one of the top five best selling products on the site. Last week, another Clorox brand, Glad, began selling sandwich bags on Loop for $4.99 with a $10 deposit. Once ordered, consumers receive 100 plastic bags in a square metal tin, along with a yellow zippered pouch to put the used bags in for recycling later. According to Nick Higgins, Glad’s marketing director, the package took six weeks to design, and consumer feedback throughout the process was positive. “If you think about our traditional manufacturing system, it’s been engineered to deliver products in a way that people use them and then it’s their responsibility for how they ultimately want to dispose of them,” Higgins said. While it’s still too early to tell how Glad’s metal tin is performing on Loop, Higgins said the brand is excited to gain insights into how people might reuse its products. “As a brand, we want to continue to make progress in this area,” he said. “Using something like Loop as a learning partner to understand consumer habits and practices, and the business models associated with that, is what makes this really attractive to us.” Loop, which debuted in May 2019 in select cities in the U.S. and France, is scheduled to roll out in the U.K., Canada, Germany and Japan later this year. Presently, the platform works with retailers Walgreens and Kroger, and about 100 major CPG conglomerates, including Pepsi, Nestle, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. While Loop has yet to make an official announcement, Szaky said the company will soon reveal new partnerships with a fast-food company and high-end cosmetics brand.         Szaky added that since Loop began, it has, on average, added a new brand every two days and a new retailer every three weeks. While the program remains in test mode, he’s optimistic that Loop will continue to grow. “Disposability is our competition,” he said. “It’s an easy enemy to hate, thank God.”

Preschoolers divert yoghurt pouches from landfill

The kids at Rainbow Cottage preschool in Whangamata are diverting non-recyclable yoghurt pouches from landfill on behalf of the community as part of a recycling programme operated by Fonterra. In doing so, the preschool has the chance to win a pack of lunch bags and pencil cases made from upcycled yoghurt pouches, in a national recycling competition called the Fonterra Snap, Recycle & Win competition.