Posts with term Tide X

How I Did It: Grow Out, Not Up

Tom Szaky started TerraCycle in 2002 with high ideals and a great idea. As a sophomore at Princeton, he devised a system that took food waste from the university’s cafeterias and fed it to red worms. These worms produce “castings” (aka poop) that make highly potent plant food. He packed his product in repurposed soda bottles equipped with spray tops to meet the young company’s mission: “eliminating the idea of waste.”
By all measures, TerraCycle was a great success. Just three years after launch, the company was selling to Walmart and Home Depot across the U.S. and Canada with revenues of $1 million. But Szaky saw a problem: There was an upper limit to the organic fertilizer market. Sooner or later, his niche product would be bumping up against that ceiling.
There are two kinds of scalability: vertical, in which you increase the input and output from the same process, and horizontal, in which you replicate a business model in multiple ways. All things being equal, horizontal scalability represents the biggest opportunity with the smallest investment. TerraCycle’s early business model relied on vertical scalability for growth. For one thing, it needed a steady source of packaging. So the company launched a “Bottle Brigade” that challenged consumers to collect the soda bottles for recognition and rewards. This modest beginning would become the model for TerraCycle’s global growth.
Soon enough, TerraCycle began recruiting corporate and government sponsors for these initiatives and expanding into different types of packaging considered “non-recyclable,” otherwise destined for landfills. In 2007, it launched a partnership with Honest Tea to collect and recycle drink pouches. Partnerships with Stonyfield Farm and Clif Bar for yogurt cups and energy bar wrappers, respectively, soon followed.

“Every material is recyclable,” Szaky explains. “It’s just a matter of economics. If it costs more to recycle than it does to use virgin materials, companies will choose the latter.”

By contrast, TerraCycle had discovered a financial equation that made recycling traditionally non-recyclable materials not only economically viable, but actually profitable for is customers:
  1. Develop relationships with consumer packaged goods (CPG) makers, municipalities and retailers to create a recycling stream specifically for a specific product or package that would otherwise be non recyclable — even cigarettes and disposable diapers.
  2. Leverage these relationships to create a process at scale to reduce the cost of recycling
  3. Provide its partners with valuable PR and marketing opportunities that had a measurable impact on their brands
  4. Later, rinse (literally!) and repeat.
As you can see, TerraCycle’s vertical growth model is now horizontal: New partnerships. New materials and products. New geographies. New revenue opportunities. Brands that now include Procter & Gamble, Right Guard, L’Oreal, and Unilever can boast turning their packaging into playground equipment, tote bags, truck parts, park benches, and more in 20 countries around the world while TerraCycle generates an estimated $92 million in revenue. TerraCycle is unique in many ways, but it’s also a textbook example of a smart business. A smart business can start out as small as you please, without requiring huge outside investments. It grows the old fashioned way - organically, by consistently reinvesting profits.. It’s also rarely glamorous or exciting. That describes TerraCycle’s original business to a T. Is there anything less glamorous or exciting than a bin full of worms consuming garbage and pooping out fertilizer? To be really smart, however, a business should provide a service to larger companies that help these organizations solve three problems: Payroll costs. Every new hire at a large company means higher costs and reduced profits. If they can hire your business to do what a full time employee can do, but for less, you’ve got the job. And P.S., you can almost always do the job for less, since it’s your specialty and you don’t have their overhead. Technology. Similarly, new technology is a big investment that comes with big headaches for large organizations. They don’t like to risk money on anything that’s not tried and true, which is to say, already out of date. By taking on this risk for them, you gain an instant advantage. You know how to squeeze the most value possible out of your technology, and you make every investment count. Cash flow. It’s sad but true that small companies often end up bankrolling the operations of big companies. How? Just look at any typical invoice, with 30 or 45-day terms. You’re essentially a banker loaning your customer money. Big companies love that. When TerraCycle pivoted to its sponsored recycling model, it became very smart. It solved a big problem for its customers that these giant brands couldn’t do for themselves. It transformed packaging from a cost center to a profit-driver. TerraCycle could take this on more economically, efficiently and effectively than Colgate or Tide because its workforce and technology were designed to do exactly that. Despite — or perhaps because of — its success, TerraCycle remains committed to its original mission of “eliminating the idea of waste,” and Tom Szasky is still coming up with new ways to fulfill it. A couple of years ago, TerraCycle launched Loop, a division that helps corporate customers develop fully reusable packaging along with a circular process that parallels its recycling stream. Loop is TerraCycle’s Moonshot — a paradigm-shifting leap of faith fueled by the parent company’s money making operations. That’s a story for another time, but let me leave you with these questions: Is your company smart enough to become a moneymaker? Can that moneymaker then propel your moonshot? Food for thought.
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Brands ramp up efforts for Earth Day

How P&G, Maple Leaf Foods, Bimbo, Harvey's and more are lessening their environmental impact.

The North Face sets more ambitious environmental targets

The North Face has always counted itself among the more planet-friendly fashion brands, but this year it’s announcing several new goals and beefing up existing efforts with an eye towards being more impactful and actionable. All of the top materials used for The North Face apparel will be recycled, regenerative or renewable by 2025; by 2023, 100% of the brand’s polyester and 80% of its nylon fabrics will be made with recycled content. This is based on where the company can have the most impact, as more than half of its carbon footprint comes from production. The North Face will also eliminate all single-use plastic packaging by 2025. The company plans to launch a new, fully circular line of it most popular styles, made entirely from previously-worn materials and garments. That’s on top of existing initiatives to reduce waste, including its Lifetime Warranty (encouraging repair versus binning), Clothes the Loop program (letting customers donate used apparel for store credit) and the Renewed Collection (a line of refurbished outerwear, which consumers can now contribute to with their own previously worn apparel, beginning on Earth Day). Finally, it will use its purchasing power to affect change outside of its own operations. It will place its “Exploration Without Compromise” seal only on the most sustainable products it sells in its stores and online: all apparel, equipment and accessories it sells must be made with 75% or greater recycled, organic, regenerative or responsibly-sourced renewable materials in order to receive the badge. Maple-Leaf-Foods-book

Maple Leaf Foods adds colour to Earth Day

In honour of Earth Day, Maple Leaf is launching Climate Change Colouring Kits, available for free online. The book shows the impact of climate change in a family-friendly way, with messages like “Look at how beautiful our West Coast is. But, is that green algae in the water? Ew!… algae blooms can change the actual colour of our oceans and lakes.” Accompanying ominous crayon colours include: “Ocean Green,” “Grass Yellow,” “Forest Black,” “Sand Blue,” “Freshwater Brown,” and “Sky Orange.”  Maple Leaf’s Climate Change Colouring Kits also offer tips about how to be more climate friendly, such as eating less meat. Maple Leaf says this climate education initiative, developed with agency partner Sid Lee, reflects its commitment “to become the most sustainable protein company on earth.” Each colouring book (including packaging) is 100% recyclable and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified, and the crayons are made from eco-friendly soy and beeswax and come in a metal reusable container. To offset emissions, Maple Leaf invested in Hamilton’s AIM Environmental Waste Diversion Project, which converts organic residues from three municipal collection sites into compost products. As part of its planet-first commitments, the company already donates 1% of its pre-tax profits to organizations to help remove barriers to food security, and Maple Leaf is also ratcheting up its plant-based offerings. Harvey's

Harvey’s partners with Tree Canada on green initiative

Canadian QSR Harvey’s was among the first national chains to focus on sustainability and reducing waste in its restaurants. It was quick to introduce paper straws in early 2019 – today, 80% of all its packaging contains recycled material – and li launched “Grow a Plant” in September the following year, providing a plant kit with every kid’s meal purchased in lieu of a plastic toy. This year, the company has launched a national tree planting initiative with Tree Canada, a non-profit dedicated to planting and nurturing trees in rural and urban environments. Starting today through to June 16, Harvey’s will donate a portion of proceeds from every transaction in restaurants, as well as delivery orders placed through Door Dash, to the organization, with the goal of planting 25,000 trees in 2021. If achieved, the initiative would help capture around 5,000 tonnes of CO2.

Bimbo to offset all of its Canadian electricity use

Known for its Dempster’s, Stonemill, Villaggio, Vachon and Takis brands, Bimbo is Canada’s largest bakery company, operating 16 bakeries, 14 distribution centres and 191 depots across the country. And now, electricity used by all of those facilities will be offset through a pair of new virtual power purchase agreements. Power purchase agreements are a way for large companies to secure energy from providers at a preferred price, but virtual PPAs are a way to do that for providers that aren’t providing power directly to the company – the electricity is instead released into the local power grid. If the provider sells the power at a lower price, the company pays the difference, making VPPAs a popular way to establish renewable energy projects. It also gives companies unable to draw electricity from renewable sources a way to “offset” that consumption by making renewable energy available elsewhere. Through 15-year agreements with global company Renewable Energy Systems, Bimbo’s VPPA will support the development of two wind and solar projects in southern Alberta, totalling 170 megawatts of installed capacity. Bimbo Canada will procure roughly 50 megawatts of renewable electricity from these projects to offset its consumption.


Budweiser gets closer to its fully renewable commitment

Labatt Breweries of Canada has established its own VPPA with Capital Power, supporting a new solar development in Alberta and helping to offset the electricity used in the brewing of Budweiser, Canada’s most popular beer brand. The agreement will include approximately 51% of the energy generated by the solar facility, one-quarter of which will be bundled with renewable energy credits directly from the facility and the remainder with credits from projects elsewhere in Canada. The VPPA is the latest effort by parent company AB InBev in its commitment to brewing Budweiser using 100% renewable energy by 2025. Since establishing the goal in 2018, 10 billion beers have been brewed using renewable energy, with investment of over $1 billion in related infrastructure projects.

P&G makes its laundry brands more recyclable

Recycling plastic is a tough thing. What might be recyclable in one town might not be in another, and the fact that recycling is its own business means that, if demand to buy used plastic isn’t there, plastic products end up becoming waste anyway, no matter what a local facility can handle. To help get around this, P&G has brought a partnership with TerraCycle on an “Eco-Box Recycling Program” to Canada. Consumers can get a pre-paid shipping label to send in products and packaging from the Tide, Downy and Gain laundry brands that may not be recyclable in certain regions, such as the plastic dispensing cups, flexible plastic bags, nozzles and nozzle clips. The plastic is then melted down and molded into new products. As a way to incentivize participation, every shipment of waste lets participants earn points that can be donated to a non-profit, school or charity of their choice. The program is available to individuals, but given that shipping empty bottles every time a household runs out could be a tall order, P&G is also encouraging schools, offices and community organizations to sign up and run their own collection efforts. P&G also launched the “It’s Our Home” campaign in the U.S. last week and in Canada on Monday, encouraging consumers to help contribute to a more sustainable world through small actions they can do throughout the home.

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."

Sustainability Takes Center Stage

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that health concerns are currently driving consumer behaviors and purchases in today’s marketplace. Research conducted by Paris-based Ipsos in July showed that 85% of consumers are concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak. According to the Washington, D.C.-based International Food Information Council, that same percentage of consumers (85%) reported that they’ve changed the way they eat or prepare food in the wake of the pandemic. While the novel coronavirus is a major, and arguably overriding, worry, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t making decisions based on other timely situations, from social issues to environmental concerns.

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.

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."

Loop’s zero-waste everyday product delivery service is expanding to the whole U.S.

The platform, which ships things like ice cream in metal containers you then send back for reuse, is expanding this summer, after a huge surge during the pandemic.

If you’ve started buying basic supplies like shampoo and toothbrushes online during the pandemic, you may notice that you’re creating a lot of extra waste in your house. But soon you’ll also be able to buy versions that come with sustainable, reusable packaging. Loop, the milkman-style platform that partners with big brands to offer subscriptions to common products like Tide detergent in reusable packaging, will expand its delivery service across the contiguous U.S. early this summer. The startup, which began its first pilots in and around New York City and Paris in 2019, has seen record sales in March and April as consumers have turned to e-commerce to avoid shopping in crowded stores. The expansion is a response to demand from customers, but also offers an alternative to recycling at a time when the recycling industry is struggling even more than it already was. [Photo: Loop] “We’re in a waste crisis,” says Tom Szaky, Loop’s CEO, who is also CEO of Terracycle, the recycling company that first helped launch the new platform. “That’s only worse because of COVID. During COVID, recyclers are hurting even more because oil is at an extreme low, so it makes it hard for recyclers to compete. And many are struggling because of health and safety—recycling is crashing during COVID.” Instead of shipping products in packages designed for a single use before recycling (or going straight to landfill), the platform sells products in packages designed for multiple reuses. When a container is empty, a consumer drops it in a shipping tote, schedules a pickup, and then sends the packaging back to be fully sterilized and then repackaged for another customer. Reuse has faltered in some cases during the coronavirus outbreak—some grocery stores have banned reusable bags, and some coffee shops have stopped reusable cup programs. But Szaky says that hasn’t been the case for Loop. “We’re learning that consumers are comfortable with reuse during COVID, which is very important,” he says. “If you give a coffee cup to a barista at a Starbucks, it has no dwell time, no health and safety protocol, and no cleaning. So it’s pretty bad. In Loop, it’s a professional reuse system, which has all of those three things in a very, very big way.” The platform now offers around 200 products that major brands have redesigned for reuse, either in the packaging or the product itself. A new toothbrush from Oral B called Clic has a reusable base and a head that snaps off to be sent back for recycling. Pantene shampoo comes in a lightweight aluminum bottle instead of plastic. Puretto, Loop’s in-house brands, sells snacks like chips and pretzels in stainless steel tubs instead of plastic bags. The design process for each item takes months; a tub designed for Häagen-Dazs ice cream, for example, uses a unique structure that works in the system, but also keeps ice cream colder longer. Four hundred brands have now signed onto the platform and are working through the process of developing new packaging for their products. As the company tracks where orders are most popular across the country, that will help its retail partners—Kroger and Walgreens—decide where to prioritize offering the same platform in stores later this year.

Earth911 Podcast: Sustainable Home Shopping With Loop

Are you thinking about shopping with home delivery during the lockdown? You need to know Loop, the home grocery delivery service that picks up and recycles what you buy when you are done. Earth911 talks with Benjamin Weir, North American business development manager at Loop. Launched by TerraCycle, the innovative recycling company, Loopstore.com currently offers 173 food and personal care products to customers in the U.S. Northeast and in France. Like the traditional milkman, Loop drops off and picks up product packaging. The packages are cleaned and reused by TerraCycle. No mess, lots less recycling hassle. The Loop Häagen-Dazs container can be reused without recycling Loop has developed new returnable and reusable packaging for products that include a steel Häagen-Dazs ice cream pint, Tide purclean detergent, and Love Beauty Planet personal care products. Customers receive their orders in an insulated tote bag, which is picked up when full by UPS and returned to TerraCycle. Weir explains that customers typically have two totes “in motion.” The company will expand service in the U.S. and Europe during 2020; it also is working to expand its product selection. We also discuss how Loop is working with its partners to reduce customer and worker exposure to potential coronavirus infection.

Sustainable packaging goes beyond traditional recycling

When buying food and beverage items, consumers are looking for delicious treats and drinks, but younger consumers are also looking to enjoy products that can help the environment. The average consumer is more aware that single-use containers, often made of plastic, are negatively affecting the environment. A Consumer Brands Association report found 86% of Americans believe we are experiencing a packaging and plastic waste crisis. What are producers doing to address this crisis? CPG brands create their own sustainability solutions Most legacy food and beverage companies have set sustainability goals for their organizations. Many of those goals include increased availability of products that come in sustainable packaging. ConagraNestle and Unilever all made recent pledges to increase sustainable materials in their packaging over the next five years. Conagra intends to make all of its plastic containers renewable, recyclable or compostable while Nestle and Unilever both signed the European Plastics Pact, which designates that participants are committed to boosting the recycled plastic content for single-use products and creating reusable packaging. In California, PepsiCo is testing a better substitute for plastic rings on beverage six-packs: molded pulp and paperboard packaging. This trial demonstrates how CPG producers are working to address customer desires for sustainable packaging that still fills the durability needs of companies. “[W]e’ve worked collaboratively with our suppliers to ensure the two solutions that we’re testing meet the needs of our consumers and customers while also addressing our functionality and sustainability requirements,” Emily Silver, PepsiCo Beverages North America’s vice president of innovation and marketing capabilities, said to BeverageDaily. While many brands are creating their own packaging solutions or reducing their virgin plastic use, several are also investing in a broader eco-friendly packaging infrastructure. Nestle is planning to purchase roughly $1.6 billion worth of recycled plastic over the next five years, and Perrier has launched an investment program for startups that are developing packaging options that have a “positive environmental and social impact.” Loop takes reusing to the masses Rather than simply reducing or recycling virgin plastic, some companies are addressing waste by offering accessible, reusable packaging. Recycling business TerraCycle debuted its circular delivery service Loop to consumers in 2019, and it is currently available in Paris, France, and the northeast region of the US. Loop’s online platform allows users to shop for consumer packaged goods products in reusable packaging from a variety of brands, which are shipped in a reusable container -- the Loop Tote -- that rids the need for single-use shipping materials. “While disposable design focuses on making our packaging as cheap as possible, durable design focuses on making containers as long lasting as possible, allowing us to access unparalleled materials, design, and function,” the Loop site states. After using up the products, Loop customers return the empty packaging via free UPS pickup where it is returned to Loop to be cleaned and disinfected in preparation for reuse. “Customers are demanding that brands step up and provide solutions that produce less waste,” said Loop Publicist Eric Rosen. “Brands are responding to this push by investing in sustainable packaging solutions such as Loop’s reuse model.” The service is currently available online, but Loop products will be available in Walgreens and Kroger retail locations in the US later in 2020. Once Loop products arrive at retail, customers will also be able to make in-store returns of reusable containers instead of shipping them. Loop’s brand partners include food brands such as Haagen DazsHidden ValleyTropicana and Chameleon Cold Brew. The service also offers personal care and cleaning products from brands such as GilletteDoveTide and Clorox. Rosen said that Loop welcomes participation from any type or size of CPG brand as long as they are committed to transforming their packaging from single-use to multi-use. “One challenge is redesigning packaging that lasts many reuse cycles,” Rosen said. “Brands must find the right material and design to suit their product. TerraCycle acts as a consultant for the packaging development process and tests all packaging for cleanability and durability prior to approval in the platform.” Rosen also revealed that Loop will be expanding internationally in 2020. Loop will partner with Tesco in the UK, Loblaws in Canada and Aeon in Japan. The platform also plans to be available in Germany and Australia in 2021. “Consumers can support brands that are taking the next step from recyclable packaging to reusable packaging,” said Rosen. “[R]ecycling is never going to be enough to solve waste at the root cause.”