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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.

Mask recycling on the University of Arizona campus with sustainability efforts

Initiative helps with campus sustainability efforts
TUCSON, Ariz.(KGUN) — The University of Arizona is looking at ways to keep the campus greener by using a mask recycling system for students and staff. Last fall the university started a mask recycling system to keep the campus clean and green. Campus Recreation Director Troy Vaughn says 8 special bins are placed at the main and north recreation centers and the bear down gym for collection. When the bins are filled, they’re shipped to PPE recycler TerraCycle for processing. Vaughn says finding a company to recycle used masks was difficult. "We’re keeping thousands of masks out of landfills. I was walking in and one of my employees came up to me and said Troy I picked up 7 masks on the way in from the parking lot. We had a lot of excitement on campus with people saying this is great,” Vaughn said. Campus recreation and student government joined forces to make it happen. Thousands of masks have been handed out to students and staff since last fall. "We noticed very early on that students were coming to us saying hey we’re seeing all of these masks being used what's up with that and can we recycle them. Literally we’re up to around 180,000 masks that we have distributed since Labor Day in the fall at campus recreation facilities,” Vaughn said. UArizona paid $1,600 to process the used PPE. The recreation center and student government are both hoping to get new sustainability funding in the future to cover the cost. "Any little thing that we can do to make a dent into what’s going into landfills is certainly a plus even if we have to pay a little bit for it,” Vaughn said. According to TerraCycle the recycled materials are repurposed to make patio furniture, shipping pallets, storage containers and more. The company has recycled over 110 tons of PPE waste since the start of the pandemic. “The students have been incredibly grateful on campus that we have discussed this with. It’s a little cost that goes a long way for our students and a long way for sustainability on campus,” Vaughn said.

Pantene and Stubb's will be sold in reusable containers at some Kroger stores

Danielle Wiener-Bronner byline
By Danielle Wiener-BronnerCNN Business

New York (CNN Business)If you walk into one of 25 Fred Meyer stores in the Portland area this week, you'll find something unusual.

Gathered together at the end of an aisle will be an eclectic assortment of about 20 products, including shampoo and dish soap, barbecue sauce, granola and more. The items are made by well-known consumer brands like Pantene, Seventh Generation, Stubb's and Nature's Path.
But instead of their usual packaging, these products come in glass, aluminum or heavy-duty plastic. And after you buy them, you have to bring those packages back.
The items are part of a new partnership between Kroger (KR), which owns Fred Meyer grocery stores, and Loop, a platform that partners with brands and retailers to sell mainstream products in reusable packages.
Loop is launching in 25 Kroger stores in the Portland metro area.
Loop is launching in 25 Kroger stores in the Portland metro area.
As consumers become increasingly concerned about plastic pollution and sustainability, companies are ramping up their environmental pledges. Moving from disposable to reusable packaging could help prevent more waste from piling up in landfills. But before they go all-in on such initiatives, retailers want to know if customers will buy into that solution, which requires them to fundamentally change their behaviors and spend more.
A test like this can help. "We're eager to understand [consumer] adoption," said Lisa Zwack, Kroger's head of sustainability. "Is it truly something that they're interested in? What makes it palatable to them?"
Here's how it works: Customers who buy the Loop products have to pay for the product, as well as a refundable deposit for the packaging which varies from product to product and can reach up to about $10. Once they've used up the soap or the shampoo or eaten the food, they return the empty container to a bin at a participating store, and get their deposit back.
Loop products will be available at those 25 Fred Meyer locations starting Wednesday. "We anticipate the initial pilot being around six months and then from there, we will determine what any next steps or expansion would look like," Zwack said.
Prices for Loop items are "generally a bit higher than a conventional item," she added, even before the deposit, because they're more niche and therefore costlier to produce, among other reasons.

A slow expansion

Loop launched in 2019 as a global partnership that includes some of the world's largest consumer goods companies. It was founded by Tom Szaky, CEO of the recycling company TerraCycle.
The platform started as an online store where customers could choose from an array of products in reusable containers, have them delivered to their homes, and send the empties back in a special tote. There, too, they had to pay a refundable deposit for each product. Loop worked with companies from Mondelēz (MDLZ) to Nestlé (NSRGY) to develop reusable packages for their products, and coordinated the logistics from shipments to cleaning.
The service, Szaky said, was always meant as something of a test — the real goal is to make reusable packaging as widely available and convenient as possible. Buying items in mainstream retail stores, rather than on a dedicated site, is a step forward.
Customers can return empty containers to dedicated bins at participating Fred Meyer locations.
Customers can return empty containers to dedicated bins at participating Fred Meyer locations.
Loop has closed its online store now that its products are beginning to make their way into retailers across the world, including Carrefour in France, Aeon in Japan, and Tesco in the United Kingdom. Kroger is Loop's first retail partner In the United States.
Reuse initiatives stalled during the pandemic, when companies suspended programs that let people bring their own containers and focused on individually packaged products. Loop felt the impact, as the pandemic snarled supply chains and delayed its launches with companies that sidelined innovation projects to focus on stabilizing their core offerings, Szaky said.
Loop is encouraged by how things are going now, even if its progress is moving slowly. Those international retailers are adding Loop products to more of their stores, although they're still not widely available. Retailers like Walgreens are planning to start selling Loop products this year, Szaky added.

Orillia optometrist sees a way to recycle contact lenses

BARRIE – Eye doctors located in cities throughout Ontario are helping the planet and the local community by reducing waste and keeping otherwise non-recyclable disposable contact lenses and their packaging out of the landfill. Through the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts Recycling Program, consumers are invited to bring all brands of disposable contact lenses and their blister pack packaging to participating eye doctor locations to be recycled. “Contact lenses are one of the forgotten waste streams that are often overlooked due to their size and how commonplace they are in today’s society,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “Programs like the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts Recycling Program allows eye doctors to work within their community and take an active role in preserving the environment, beyond what their local municipal recycling programs are able to provide. By creating this recycling initiative, our aim was to provide an opportunity where whole communities are able to collect waste alongside a national network of public drop-off locations all with the unified goal to increase the number of recycled contact lenses and their associated packaging, thereby reducing their impact on landfills.” Below is a list of local eye doctors participating in the program:
To learn more about the Bausch + Lomb Every Contact Counts Recycling Program, become a public drop-off location or to search for their nearest participating location, visit https://www.terracycle.ca/brigades/bausch-and-lomb.

22 Best Natural Body Washes for Men

22 Best Natural Body Washes for Men
22 Best Natural Body Washes for Men [ Photo ]
Published Feb. 15
Traditional body washes can move aside – natural alternatives are where it’s at. While once commonly cast aside due to not seeming as effective as your standard cleansers, the science and innovation behind natural body washes has matured in recent years. Natural body washes are just as effective as their traditional counterparts (if not more), and are also typically kinder to the skin, thanks to the gentle yet powerful nature of plant-based surfactants. They’re also free of unnecessary fillers, preservatives, synthetic ingredients, and other toxins that can do harm to not just our skin, but also the planet. These formulas rely on the power of nature, which already has the ingredients we need for healthy skin. If you’re looking to upgrade your bathing routine, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best natural body washes for men, with options for all budgets and a variety of skin concerns.

1. Blu Atlas Body Wash

Blu Atlas crafts natural, science-backed personal care products for men, and the company’s Body Wash does not disappoint. This all natural cleanser is expertly formulated to nourish and calm while effectively cleansing away dirt, sweat, and other debris that collects on the skin throughout the day. Antioxidant-rich green tea extract soothes the skin while providing anti-inflammatory benefits, while aloe leaf (which is rich in vitamins A, C, and E) moisturizes and nourishes. The body wash also contains shea butter glycerides, which gives dry skin the moisture that it needs, as well as sugar cane extract, which naturally exfoliates while hydrating the skin. The Blu Atlas Body Wash (along with all other Blu Atlas products) is free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates, so you can be confident that the formula is safe for your skin and overall health.

2. Grown Alchemist Body Cleanser

This chamomile and bergamot-scented body wash from Grown Alchemist gently cleanses and refreshes the skin without stripping it of its natural moisture or causing any dryness. Grown Alchemist formulas use the power of natural ingredients to support the body’s own repair and regenerative process. This body wash is packed with nutrient-rich oils that nourish, tone, fight signs of aging, and minimize blemishes. The Grown Alchemist Body Cleanser contains ingredients like tangerine peel oil, which conditions and tones the skin while fighting against dryness and flakiness, as well as rosehip fruit, macadamia seed, and jojoba seed oils, which smooth and soften. The vegan and cruelty-free formula is free of artificial fragrances and colors, lauryl sulfates, and petrochemicals.

3. Jack Black All-Over Wash for Face, Hair & Body

This multi-purpose cleanser from Jack Black is the perfect choice for the man who is all about efficiency in his personal care routine. This fresh wash (which is lightly scented with botanicals) cleanses away dirt and grime from the body, face, and hair without causing any dryness. Star ingredients in this multi-tasking cleanser include jojoba protein and panthenol, which moisturize and soften the skin and hair. Cocamidopropyl Betaine – a natural coconut-derived surfactant – cleanses, while nutrient-rich sea kelp hydrates and soothes. For extra moisturization power, this cleanser contains shea butter, aloe, and glycerin. The Jack Black All-Over Wash for Face, Hair & Body is gentle and suitable for all skin types, and is also cruelty-free and free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.

4. Ursa Major Citrus Riot Body Wash

Clean and natural skin, hair, and body care brand Ursa Major is known for crafting effective formulas infused with forest-derived ingredients. The Citrus Riot Body Wash has a fresh and zesty scent that comes from natural ingredients like lime peel, ginger, cedar, fir, and vetiver. The foaming gel body wash is formulated to thoroughly cleanse the skin without causing dryness or irritation. Aloe and frankincense soothe the skin, while lime peel and ginger refresh and revitalize. The vegan and cruelty-free formula is free of a variety of potentially harmful ingredients, including SLS, SLES, parabens, petrochemicals, and synthetic fragrances and dyes.

5. 100% Pure Eucalyptus Shower Gel

Personal care company 100% Pure offers products that are fully natural and organic, as well as cruelty-free. The company’s foaming Eucalyptus Shower Gel – which is made with gentle and natural coconut oil surfactants – is formulated to rehydrate the skin while washing away impurities on the skin. This invigorating peppermint and eucalyptus-scented body wash is made with honey, coconut oil, and aloe, which soothe and hydrate the skin. Antioxidant-rich green tea and red algae also protect and nourish the skin. In addition to contributing to the scent, eucalyptus essential oil helps tackle breakouts, which makes this product one of the best natural body washes for men dealing with body acne.

6. Common Ground Natural Body Wash

This vegan and cruelty-free body wash from organic personal care brand Common Ground is created to be gentle on the skin and suitable for all skin types. It has a biodegradable formula, and also comes in a 100% sustainably-sourced recycled plastic bottle. The star ingredient in the Common Ground Natural Body Wash is avocado oil, which is rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants. This oil protects the skin from environmental aggressors while keeping it soft and moisturized. The formula is free of SLS, petrochemicals, parabens, soap, formaldehyde, artificial colors, and mineral oils.

7. Corpus Natural Body Wash, Santalum

Corpus is a personal care brand that was launched to create natural products that are just as effective as their traditional counterparts – if not more so. The company’s Natural Body Wash (which comes in an earth-friendly aluminum bottle) is vegan and cruelty-free, and contains certified organic ingredients. The Santalum scent has a woodsy and earthy feel, featuring rich notes of sandalwood, Texas cedarwood, and amber. The Natural Body Wash formula contains a blend of seed oils and plant and flower extracts that tone, soothe, and nourish the skin. This includes banana extract, argan oil, sunflower seed oil, and matricaria flower extract. Corpus’s coconut-derived emulsion works to gently cleanse and moisturize the skin. The formula is completely free of parabens, phthalates, SLS, and synthetic fragrances.

8. Raw Sugar Men’s Exfoliating Body Wash

This affordable option from Southern California-based personal care company Raw Sugar is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a natural body wash with exfoliating power. The Raw Sugar Men’s Exfoliating Body Wash comes in two scents: the invigorating and energizing Tea Tree + Peppermint, and the restorative and relaxing Sandalwood + Lavender. This body wash uses the power of natural loofah fruit and volcanic rock powders to exfoliate away dead skin cells, dirt, and other debris on the skin. It is also packed with plant-based ingredients that moisturize, soothe, nourish the skin, including jojoba oil, meadowfoam seed oil, hemp seed oil, and colloidal oat.

9. Pai Skincare Gentle Genius Body Wash

Pai Skincare is known for creating effective, natural products containing organic ingredients that are safe for irritable skin. The company’s Gentle Genius Body Wash is one of the best natural body washes for men with dry and/or sensitive skin – it has even been tested on skin prone to eczema, dermatitis, and psoriasis. While many cleansers contain foaming agents that can irritate and dry out the skin, this foaming cream body wash has been specially formulated to cleanse without causing any negative reactions. The sulfate-free Gentle Genius Body Wash (which is naturally and gently scented with bergamot oil) contains camellia seed oil. This antioxidant-rich oil contains high levels of omega 6 and vitamin E, and helps moisturize the skin. Magnolia berry extract soothes the skin, ensuring it does not experience any irritation or itchiness.

10. Puracy Natural Body Wash

Puracy offers a range of natural and organic home, body, and hair care products. The company’s highly-rated Natural Body Wash comes in fresh scents like Citrus & Sea Salt and Bergamot & Sandalwood, and is formulated to hydrate and balance the skin. It’s free of sulfates, parabens, dyes, phosphates, and petroleum-based ingredients. This vegan and cruelty-free gel cleanser contains effective ingredients that are expertly developed by Puracy’s team of Ph.D. chemists. Natural coconut-derived cleansing ingredients gently wash away debris on the skin without causing irritation or dryness. The cleanser also features Himalayan pink sea salt, which purifies the skin. The hypoallergenic formula is gentle yet effective, and is suitable for all skin types. It’s also biodegradable, and even formulated to be safe for greywater and septic systems.

11. Hardworking Gentlemen Natural Body Wash

As the name suggests, California-based Hardworking Gentlemen creates effective hair and body care products for active men. The company creates its formulas with fully natural ingredients, and also uses sustainable packaging. One of Hardworking Gentlemen’s most popular products is the Natural Body Wash, which comes in the company’s signature pinewood scent. It was created to be used on the body, hair, and beard, so it’s a great multi-use product to have on hand. It contains a variety of plant-based ingredients, including antioxidant-rich organic aloe leaf, which soothes and has antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. Organic jojoba seed oil calms redness and treats dry skin, while vitamins E and B5 hydrate the skin. The Natural Body Wash is completely free of sulfates, phthalates, and parabens.

12. Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

If you want a product that can truly do everything, you have to try the Dr. Bronner’s 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile Liquid Soap. This soap is safe to use as a body wash, face cleanser, and shampoo, and can even be diluted to use for a variety of household cleaning tasks. This versatile liquid soap is biodegradable, and made with organic and certified fair-trade ingredients. It’s completely free of detergents, foaming agents, and synthetic ingredients. The simple formula contains a variety of nourishing and hydrating organic oils, including coconut, olive, hemp seed, and jojoba oils. The 18-in-1 Hemp Pure-Castile Liquid Soap comes in a variety of scents, including Peppermint (a customer favorite), Almond, Citrus, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus.

13. SheaMoisture African Black Soap Soothing Body Wash

The SheaMoisture African Black Soap Soothing Body Wash is one of the absolute best natural body washes for men with acne-prone skin. It is formulated to soothe and gently cleanse the skin to remove impurities that may lead to breakouts. African black soap is commonly used to fight acne for a clearer complexion. In this formula, this black soap is made from antibacterial and acne-fighting cocoa pod ash, as well as coconut, palm oil, and shea butter. In addition to the African black soap, this natural body wash contains soothing aloe leaf juice, which conditions dry skin and fights inflammation, as well as oat bran extract, which calms the skin. The formula is free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and mineral oils, and is also cruelty-free.

14. Avalon Organics Revitalizing Peppermint Bath and Shower Gel

Avalon Organics produces exceptional natural skin, hair, bath, and body products at prices that can’t be beat. Among the company’s range of affordable and natural personal care products is the Revitalizing Peppermint Bath and Shower Gel. This gentle shower gel is crafted to purify and rehydrate extra dry skin, while energizing the mind and body with the power of rejuvenating peppermint oil. It contains ingredients like aloe leaf juice, calendula flower extract, quinoa protein, and orange peel oil to soothe, moisturize, and revitalize the skin. The vegan and cruelty-free formula is biodegradable, and is also free of synthetic colors and fragrances, GMOs, SLS, and phthalates.

15. Native Body Wash

Native burst onto the scene a few years ago, selling the company’s (now incredibly popular) natural deodorants. The company has since expanded, and offers a variety of natural personal care products, including body wash. The Native Body Wash comes in a variety of scents, including Cucumber & Mint, Citrus & Herbal Musk, Eucalyptus & Mint, and Charcoal (a fresh scent with a hint of citrus). Native also frequently releases new seasonal scents to help mix up your bathing routine. The sudsy formula hydrates and softens the skin, and uses the power of coconut oil-based cleansers to refresh and gently cleanse away dirt and debris. It is free of sulfates, phthalates, and dyes, and is also vegan and cruelty-free.

16. Hey Humans Body Wash in Cedarwood Sage

Hey Humans is dedicated to creating affordable personal care products made with clean and naturally derived and vegan ingredients. The company also highly values sustainability, and is on a mission to minimize plastic waste. The Hey Humans Body Wash – which is packaged in an aluminum bottle – contains jojoba seed oil, which moisturizes and softens, as well as glycerin, which soothes and hydrates the skin. Cedarwood, eucalyptus, black pepper, and mint essential oils help create the warm and woodsy scent. While the Cedarwood Sage is the traditionally more masculine scent, you’ll find a variety of other options, including Apple Matcha, Rosewater Ginger, and Banana Aloe. The formula is completely free of silicones, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates.

17. Brickell Men’s Products Invigorating Mint Body Wash

If you need a body wash that will invigorate and energize you at the start of your day, this option from Brickell Men’s Products is the choice for you. Brickell creates personal care and grooming products for men that are powered by high-quality natural and organic ingredients, and free of synthetic chemicals. The sulfate-free Invigorating Mint Body Wash is formulated to deeply cleanse the skin (with the power of coconut-based cleansers) without stripping and drying it out. It contains jojoba oil, which moisturizes and supports the skin barrier, as well as glycerin, which attracts moisture to the skin to improve softness. Aloe vera further helps with moisturization, and soothes and nourishes the skin. The original scent of this body wash is Invigorating Mint, which is light and refreshing. If you’d like to try another option, Brickell also offers citrusy Lemon Lime and bold and spicy Tropical Teakwood.

18. Andalou Men Invigorating Body Wash 3 in 1

Popular skin and body care brand Andalou creates effective and affordable products containing clean and natural ingredients. What sets the company apart is its use of innovative fruit stem cell science to support skin restoration, protection, and overall health. The vegan and cruelty-free Invigorating Body Wash 3 in 1 gently cleanses, and is formulated to be suitable for use on the face, hair, and body. It contains the company’s CannaCell (hemp stem cells), which is rich in antioxidants that protect the skin from environmental aggressors. The formula also includes soothing and moisturizing hemp seed oil and aloe vera. It is free of gluten, phthalates, sulfates, silicones, and parabens.

19. REN Skincare Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash

REN Skincare is well-known in the skin and body care industry for creating high-performing products using clean and natural ingredients. The vegan and cruelty-free company specializes in creating formulas that are safe for sensitive skin. The REN Skincare Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash is a sulfate-free cleanser that is formulated to smooth and tone while nourishing the skin. One of the star ingredients is Atlantic kelp extract, which is filled with essential minerals that nourish and boost vitality in the skin. Two other standout ingredients are magnesium PCA, which moisturizes the skin, as well as plankton extract, which further nourishes and soothes. It’s also expertly formulated with a blend of sage, rosemary, cypress, and geranium essential oils, which serve to energize and uplift. REN Skincare highly values sustainability, and the company worked alongside recycling company TerraCycle to create the bottle for this body wash. It is made of 100% recycled plastic, and contains 20% reclaimed ocean plastic.

20. Dr. Alkaitis Organic Body Wash

Dr. Alkaitis is a pioneer in the world of organic skincare, having launched his eponymous company in 1996. After recognizing the variety of potentially harmful ingredients found in traditional personal care products, he used his extensive knowledge and research of plants to create highly-effective products with clean and edible ingredients. Dr. Alkaitis’s gentle and non-drying Organic Body Wash is a sulfate-free, natural cleanser that softens the skin and restores its moisture balance while nourishing it with a variety of plant-based ingredients. It works to prevent dryness, and is also excellent for extremely sensitive skin, as well as acne-prone skin. The mild cleansing base consists of a blend of saponified oils, which includes olive, jojoba, coconut, and apricot kernel oils. The body wash also contains Dr. Alkaitis’s Bio-Pure Skin Repair Complex, which contains nutrient-rich ingredients like red sage, turmeric, rosemary, lemon balsam, and bitter orange.

21. Every Man Jack Men’s Body Wash, Cedarwood

If you want your body wash to make you smell like the great outdoors, Every Man Jack is for you. The cruelty-free men’s personal care company uses naturally-derived ingredients in its nature-inspired products. Every Man Jack also focuses on doing what’s right for the earth, and packages its products in sustainable packaging. Every Man Jack’s Cedarwood Body Wash contains 97% naturally-derived ingredients, including coconut-derived surfactants that deeply clean without stripping the skin. It also contains rosemary and sage essential oils that refresh the skin, as well as moisturizing glycerin. If cedarwood isn’t your style, the company offers an impressively large variety of scents, so you can easily find the outdoor-inspired option that works best for you. Additional scent options include Sandalwood, Citrus Scrub (which contains natural exfoliating ingredients), and Crimson Oak. These formulas are free of parabens, dyes, gluten, and phthalates.

22. Oars & Alps Body Wash

Oars & Alps believes in the power of clean, naturally derived ingredients, and avoids using harsh chemicals or unnecessary additives in its formulas. The skin, body, and hair care company creates simple products that work effectively and efficiently. The Oars & Alps Body Wash is formulated to leave the skin feeling hydrated and fresh. It comes in three scents: California Coast (light citrus with sandy amber, ylang ylang, and patchouli), Fresh Ocean Splash (cedarwood, lime, fresh greens, and crisp water), and Alpine Tea Tree (peppermint, tea tree, lavender, cedarwood, and white ginger). This body wash contains small, environmentally-friendly spheres filled with vitamins B and E-rich jojoba oil, which hydrates and nourishes the skin. This oil also has antimicrobial properties, so it’s excellent for skin prone to breakouts. The body wash features alpine caribou moss, which protects the skin against pollution and other environmental aggressors. The formula is sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, cruelty-free, dermatologist tested, and suitable for all skin types.

L.O.L. Surprise! Unveils New Product Innovation: MGA CEO Discusses Sustainability

Jeff Fromm
Jeff Fromm
Expert on Millennials, Generation Z and the impact of purpose and sustainability.
Listen to article8 minutes
I had the chance to visit with MGA CEO & founder Isaac Larian. He is a pioneer in the toy and entertainment industry, and like many successful CEO’s, he knows he needs to navigate consumer culture changes to stay ahead of competition. At the same time, Larian is looking to make it easier for consumers to live a sustainable lifestyle.  
L.O.L. Surprise paper packaging
L.O.L. Surprise is eliminating plastic in favor of paper to produce their iconic ball. The company ... [+] PROVIDED BY L.O.L. SURPRISE
  In my recent research and consulting work on sustainability, consumers expressed a desire to live a more sustainable lifestyle, which means brands need to make it affordable, accessible and easy to enjoy the products consumers’ want. Consumers also want to feel less guilt about their purchase decisions. According to Mary Anne Hansan, President of the Paper & Packaging Board, “It’s encouraging to see more companies embrace materials like paper and paper-based packaging that are sustainable by design and that come from an abundant, renewable resource, forests, so you can do good for the planet.” Jeff Fromm: What are the major trends in play? Isaac Larian: The primary trends that MGA has invested and innovated around include: Mental Health focus - Toys are part of the answer to engage kids in social development and play at home.  Specifically, plush toys and games that promote mindfulness as well as fidget toys and tactile toys with a focus on soothing are a big trend, largely because of the COVID pandemic. Creativity – In self-expression through art, but also through role play. As AI becomes an even larger component of kids’ toys, it is believed that use of such toys will develop critical thinking and creativity skills, which are critical areas for future employment and success. Toys that foster creativity in new ways will become more important to parents who want to prepare their kids for the future.
Gender Neutrality - I was recently interviewed by a reporter on this topic and how MGA will continue to include focus on breaking down gender stereotype into toys. The Kidult Space - Teens and adults that did not previously buy toys have been buying them since the advent of COVID. It’s been fueled further by toy companies supplying toys that tap into nostalgia (five surprise mini brands), current and past entertainment (Lego sets, collectible figures for Game of Thrones, etc.) and a desire to express oneself through own likes. This could continue to grow as other categories in toys figure out how to appeal to adults. Sustainability - Parents want to instill long-lasting values and educate their kids via their favorite toys. They also want to teach their children to take care of their environment. This trend will become critical in the manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of toys. The toy product itself will change and kids’ interest in sustainability will create new opportunities also; think recycling truck vs. garbage truck. Fromm: How is MGA thinking about sustainability? Larian:   MGA has taken a variety of steps when thinking about sustainability. This movement is woven across everything we do. We put thought into our entire lifestyle at MGA from the inside out. So that translates into three areas of opportunity right now: actual toys, packaging and shipping and lifestyle and culture. In toys, MGA has introduced products that fall into the green category like our Real Wood Adventure collection from Little Tikes. We also have entered the NFT and digital play world, eliminating waste by encouraging kids to explore the imaginative universe of their favorite L.O.L. toys online. This focus is woven throughout MGA globally, as demonstrated by our partners in Poland changing the floorboards in Cozy Coupes from yellow and pink to black to minimize waste and use recycled material. They also exclusively use carton boxes made from 100% recycled cardboard, turn 100% of production scraps back into production, as well as introduced a Go Green line of toys that are 92.3% made of recycled materials. In packaging and shipping, our reusable packaging from Lalaloopsy and our Crazy Fast Car toy coming out this Fall are examples of toys with packaging that can be re-used for play.  L.O.L. Surprise also introduced paper as a substitute to plastic across the blind bag packing. We also established an ongoing recycling partnership with Terracycle in 2019 across several regions globally, which allows fans to conveniently recycle L.O.L. Surprise! packaging. In 2021, we moved from plastic packaging for our Amazon shipments to all cardboard boxes. Also, we recently opened a plant in Mexico, which helps to shorten the supply chain and in turn reduces energy. MGA has also actualized their sustainability initiatives across brands and content, with the launch of their Little Tikes’ Let’s Go Cozy Coupe episode that centers on recycling awareness as well as social content shared across MGA’s channels highlighting DIY tips and tricks for repurposing L.O.L. Surprise!™ packaging in creative ways. From a lifestyle and culture perspective, MGA around the world is reducing its carbon footprint in the workplace. We have moved from buying and stocking plastic water bottles to instituting filtered water fountains and systems easy for reusable paper cups and glasses. Our utensils, plates and supplies are now bamboo or recycled paper products, and we encourage our employees to drive electric cars by offering charging stations across campuses globally. We are vigilant and diligent about finding other ways to change the employee experience and commitment to driving sustainability. Fromm: What do you think parents and kids want when thinking about having fun and engaging in learning? Larian: Parents are focused on minimizing the damage by the pandemic to their children —in terms of mental health, social development, and educational preparedness. Parents are using toys to ensure children continue to develop social skills since so much face-to-face play has been taken from their day-to-day experience.  Kids learn in a variety of ways – they see; therefore, they copy. They imagine and pretend; therefore, they create.  They role play; therefore, they make up their own stories. Toys, games, (even entertainment) that engage, enable and teach them are fun and help them grow. Fromm: How will MGA lead industry transformation to more paper-based solutions? Larian: MGA has taken seriously the need to reduce our carbon footprint. And we realize that eliminating plastic and sustaining our progress is not easy, but it must be done. We have committed to two important goals, which we already have announced:    
  • To achieve and maintain 95% recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - certified content in the paper and wood fiber used in our products and packaging.
  • To achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials in our products and packaging by 2025.



Among brands embracing the micro-event trend of 2022 is Subaru, which has reimagined its WinterFest platform as a music and mountain lifestyle adventure tour featuring small, curated and high-touch experiences under the umbrella of its large presence at eight resorts across the country. The platform, which launched in 2014, is returning to the slopes after a two-year hiatus to meet the pent-up consumer demand for outdoor recreation, to maximize the winter experience for brand devotees, and to evoke an “emotional connection” with 25-34-year-old outdoor adventure seekers. At the heart of the tour is a showcase of the Subaru Wilderness Family of vehicles and, in addition to music, the experience includes food and beverages alongside giveaways, gear demos and even special appearances by avalanche rescue dogs. WinterFest kicked off in Killington, VT, at the Killington Mountain Resort, Feb. 11-13, and will wrap in Bend, OR, at Mt. Bachelor, April 14-16.

“WinterFest has always been a way for Subaru to connect to its owners, potential owners and mountain resort visitors. Our goal has always been to make someone’s day at the resort better and to provide a free, memorable experience for whoever wants to come,” says Matt Barber, brand partnerships and experiential marketing manager at Subaru of America. “Before COVID, we started to refine that experience and make it more about a full-scale lifestyle festival that is unique to the resort visitor.”
Subaru WinterFest_2022

Live music was one of the main attractions at Subaru’s WinterFest event in Killington, VT.

Festival attendees can relax in a Subaru WinterFest village offering s’mores and other treats from partnering brands including Alpine Start, Kate’s Real Food and Alpine Start Coffee (served in Klean Kanteen mugs). Tiny houses have long been popular at WinterFest, says Barber, and this year presents a newly-designed rollout featuring two different activation outposts. One is a Subaru WinterFest station where fans can win giveaways and demo winter sport equipment. Subaru owners can visit the area to drop off their skis for a quick, complimentary custom “Wax and Relax” service (using nano technology) by Dynamic Wax. The other outpost offers a Subaru brand experience featuring vehicle audio demos and a timeline of more than 50 years of adventure vehicles culminating with the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness edition. All festival attendees can explore gear demos from Mammut, Nordica, Thule and Arbor Collective while Subaru owners can opt in for the VIP treatment (think: free VIP parking, special gifts and perks including free lift tickets). There is also live music hosted by Subaru audio partner Harman Kardon on the main stage at each resort. Music performances will spotlight national touring bluegrass, indie and Americana bands including Dawes, Twiddle, Trampled by Turtles and The Ghost of Paul Revere. In addition, all Subaru fans can attend satellite shows taking place outdoors on an all-new, fully custom pop-up stage built from a 1999 Subaru Sambar at each of the eight resorts. This year Subaru also rolled out a new COVID-friendly touchless QR code system and sweepstakes platform with brand ambassadors on-site to help attendees navigate the technology. Focused on environmentally friendly habits, Subaru designed WinterFest to be an almost entirely waste-free event with Klean Kanteen, TerraCycle and Leave No Trace offering giveaways that help consumers integrate green practices into their lives. WinterFest’s charitable effort will bring dog-friendly experiences to select WinterFest events. Through a partnership with the National Ski Patrol (NSP), Subaru created a scholarship fund that sends patrols and their avalanche rescue dogs to the Wasatch Backcountry Rescue International Dog School. For every person at the festival who opts-in to a daily drawing this year, $1 will be donated to NSP to train avalanche rescue dogs. “If you build spaces for people to feel comfortable hanging out and spending time in together, the results will speak for themselves,” says Barber. “Your opt-ins, engagement and attendance numbers go up. We started focusing on creating space for people to hang out, be it fire pits with s’mores, or rooftop hangouts on top of our trailers, and then hosting a free concert from a national performing artist along with it. Event marketers can get caught up in the giveaways and swag, and that branding is important, but providing space and an experience to make someone’s day or weekend better, is huge.” Agency: Powdr. Photo credit: Ethan Johnson

Taco Bell Launches Pilot Program in New Jersey to Recycle Sauce Packets

Be honest: how many packets of hot sauce, soy sauce, ketchup and the like do you have in a drawer? Probably a ton. For the hot sauce, now there’s something to do with the packets after you use them. Taco Bell is launching a pilot program in Mercer County to recycle used sauce packets. In partnership with TerraCycle, select Taco Bell locations, alongside several community spaces, all located throughout Mercer County are helping to divert used hot sauce packets away from landfills. With 8.2 billion Taco Bell hot sauce packets used each year in the U.S., this pilot program aims to give packets a spicier new life as a new recycled product. The packets don’t just have to be from Taco Bell, either. Now through Earth Day (April 22), participating Taco Bell locations will be accepting empty sauce packets regardless of brand or type. Once collected, the waste will be sent to TerraCycle, where it will be cleaned and melted into hard plastic and remolded into new recycled products “This recycling initiative empowers local Taco Bell® locations and community spaces to promote sustainable initiatives in their own towns while encouraging residents to take an active role in helping to preserve the environment,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “Our aim is to provide an opportunity for entire communities like Trenton to collect waste and be part of the solution to keep these packets out of landfills and the environment.” To search for the nearest participating location in Mercer County to recycle sauce packets, click here.

No need to trash (or horde) fast-food sauce packets: NJ recycling

Published: February 14, 2022
  Do you have fast-food condiment packets lying around the house? Don't throw them out. With a new pilot program in Mercer County starting, Taco Bell wants to make it just as convenient to recycle sauce packets as it is to take their food on the go. Now through Earth Day on April 22, consumers are encouraged to bring all brands and types of emptied sauce packets to participating drop-off sites in the county for recycling. Once collected, the waste will be sent to TerraCycle, where it will be cleaned and melted into hard plastic and remolded into recycled products. Participating locations include Taco Bell restaurants, which will take empty condiment package from any brand or other restaurant as long as they are empty. TerraCycle will recycle the used packets and create a picnic table to be donated to a park in Mercer County. To find a participating Taco Bell location or another local drop-off site, go to https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/pages/taco-bell-pilot.

Taco Bell launches pilot program in New Jersey to recycle sauce packets

Published: February 14, 2022 Be honest: how many packets of hot sauce, soy sauce, ketchup and the like do you have in a drawer? Probably a ton. For the hot sauce, now there’s something to do with the packets after you use them. Taco Bell is launching a pilot program in Mercer County to recycle used sauce packets. In partnership with TerraCycle, select Taco Bell locations, alongside several community spaces, all located throughout Mercer County are helping to divert used hot sauce packets away from landfills. With 8.2 billion Taco Bell hot sauce packets used each year in the U.S., this pilot program aims to give packets a spicier new life as a new recycled product. The packets don’t just have to be from Taco Bell, either. Now through Earth Day (April 22), participating Taco Bell locations will be accepting empty sauce packets regardless of brand or type. Once collected, the waste will be sent to TerraCycle, where it will be cleaned and melted into hard plastic and remolded into new recycled products “This recycling initiative empowers local Taco Bell® locations and community spaces to promote sustainable initiatives in their own towns while encouraging residents to take an active role in helping to preserve the environment,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “Our aim is to provide an opportunity for entire communities like Trenton to collect waste and be part of the solution to keep these packets out of landfills and the environment.” To search for the nearest participating location in Mercer County to recycle sauce packets, click here. Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only. You can now listen to Deminski & Doyle — On Demand! Hear New Jersey’s favorite afternoon radio show any day of the week. Download the Deminski & Doyle show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now: