Posts with term tom szaky X

Yet Another Consequence of the Pandemic: More Plastic Waste

SO YOU GOT your jumbo pack of toilet paper from Costco. You speed home so nobody Mad Maxes you off the highway and steals your treasure, and immediately rip open the plastic packaging and throw it in the recycling bin. You stash rolls in the bathroom, but also hide them around the house, in case your family becomes less of a family and more of a free-for-all, and everyone ends up fighting to the death over TP.   A few days later, you take out your recycling, figuring that plastic wrap will find new life as plastic wrap elsewhere. The reality is it will become trash because, this being capitalism, it wouldn’t be economically feasible to recycle it even at the best of times. But now, with the coronavirus pandemic worsening, even stalwart recyclables like bottles and cans and cardboard are in many places going straight to the dump.   In some ways, the pandemic has been great for the environment: With heavy industries shutting down and fewer cars on the road, we’re spewing less greenhouse gases and air quality is vastly improving. “The world is breathing better, objectively,” says Tom Szaky, the founder and CEO of the recycling company TerraCycle. “This is the great irony—the world will breathe better, but wake up to an even bigger garbage crisis.”   Recycling was already in a crisis in recent years, due to a confluence of factors. But now the coronavirus pandemic is here to kneecap it. “Many recyclers, because of health and safety concerns, are also stopping the service,” says Szaky. “Recycling—that's been in sort of a crash—is now getting even worse.”   The recycling industry has been suffering from a trio of maladies. First, given that plastic is oil, when oil prices fall—as they have in recent years—plastic gets cheaper to make. This corrupts the economics of recycling. To be financially feasible, a recycling operation has to make more money than what it costs to gather the waste and process it. If oil, and therefore plastic, is cheap to begin with—and the coronavirus crisis has thoroughly cratered the price of oil—it doesn’t make economic sense for a company to process and sell recycled materials if they end up being more expensive than the virgin plastic another company is making.   You might think that the science is lagging, that it’s just not possible to recycle the materials we would want to, or perhaps that the recycling infrastructure isn’t robust enough. “It has nothing to do with that,” says Szaky. “It has everything to do with the economic equation: Is there a business model?”   The second reason is that for decades the United States sold mountains of recyclable materials to China for processing. But in 2018, China said no thanks to all that anymore, and banned imports of plastic and mixed paper. That was part of the nation’s bid to boost its own domestic garbage collection and, well, not have their country drown in plastic bottles. That left the US without a massive market upon which to jettison its waste.   “The third is what no one notices, that the quality of the waste is going down,” says Szaky. This is known as “lightweighting,” and it was happening long before the pandemic began. By making plastic bottles thinner, the manufacturer saves money by using less plastic. But, Szaky says, “it becomes progressively less profitable for a garbage company to bother recycling.”   And so an industry already in tumult has run headlong into the coronavirus pandemic. Now single-use plastics are more popular than ever as people panic-buy disposable items like water bottles, plus other products wrapped safely in the confines of plastic, like hand sanitizer and tissues and foods. Then, of course, people scrub these all with sanitizing wipes, themselves packaged in single-use plastic containers.   Toilet paper sales in the US in March were up 112 percent from the previous year—and would have been far higher if it weren’t for shortages—while aerosol disinfectants were up 343 percent. In the last week of February, hand sanitizer sales were up 313 percent from the same week last year. Amazon has had to hire 100,000 extra workers to keep up with demand—packing individually wrapped products into cardboard boxes bound for your doorstep.   In addition, the restaurant where you used to eat food off plates using metal utensils now sells you a to-go bag full of individually-wrapped dishes. And I doubt you’ll want to reuse that bag. Indeed, in the Bay Area, you’re not even allowed to bring your reusable bags to the grocery store anymore, lest you bring the virus from your home to the checkout counter. In early March, Starbucks stopped filling customers’ reusable cups for the same reason, before shuttering stores altogether. “So disposability is going like crazy,” says Szaky. “And during Covid, we saw that the recycling equation that was bad anyway, and trending down, is even worse.”   Even if the industry could handle this crush of “recyclables,” and even if it were economically feasible to process all the stuff, many recyclers have shut down in response to the pandemic. Curbside recycling programs have been suspended by dozens of county and local governments, from Miami to Los Angeles County, according to the trade publication Waste Dive. Recycling facilities are struggling to figure out how to protect their workers, who are concerned about virus exposure from handling materials.     TerraCycle, which gets many of its recyclables from stores, has obviously seen materials dry up, too. “I mean, we have collection points in 100,000 retailers around the world, and all of those are closed right now,” says Szaky.   In addition, over half of the states with container redemption programs—the way you as an individual can get money for each can or bottle you collect—are temporarily suspending enforcement. “Thus, materials that would normally find its way to recyclers are being channeled to landfills and incinerators,” says Rachel Meidl, a fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute, who studies plastics.   Making matters worse is the deluge of waste coming out of hospitals running on overdrive right now: You can’t just recycle a plastic face shield a doctor used while treating a Covid patient. Any biohazardous waste generated from Covid-19 at medical facilities, or samples from coronavirus test sites, has to be properly packaged and sent to a hazardous waste facility for incineration.   All told, the coronavirus crisis is producing more and more waste that’s either contaminated or not economical to recycle, and would be even if the recycling infrastructure was still running at full capacity. “With restaurants shifting to take-out, which requires the use of single-use plastics, consumers stockpiling groceries and bottled water, and the medical community rapidly turning over protective equipment, there has undoubtedly been an uptick in plastic waste due to the coronavirus pandemic,” says Meidl.   When we finally get a vaccine and the crisis begins to wane, our skies will once again fill with smog as we commute and spin up heavy industries, and the temptation will be to rely more heavily than ever on single-use plastics out of fears of sharing any lingering germs. But there are ways to do better. TerraCycle, for instance, runs a program that delivers products like shampoo in durable containers that customers ship back once the product is gone, for cleaning and reuse.   We need this kind of behavioral shift because recycling isn’t a panacea; indeed, it was the plastic industry’s push for recycling that got us into this mess. By shifting the blame for plastic pollution onto the consumers, they manipulated us into thinking the problem was ours to solve. The solution for the past few decades has been encouraging individuals to recycle, not to demand that the industry stop churning out so much single-use plastic. That narrative could be crumbling, though, as scientists continue to uncover the pervasiveness of plastic pollution: Sea creatures’ stomachs are filling up with plastic bags and microplastics are blowing from cities onto pristine mountaintops.   The trouble is that our modern society wouldn’t exist without the stuff—it’s just too damn useful. Big investments from industries and governments could develop better recycling technologies and more easily recyclable plastics that would increase the profitability of recycling. But it matters, too, whether we think of plastics as essentially disposable or recyclable. “The bottom line is, no matter how much government funding is allocated towards recycling efforts,” says Meidl, “there first needs to be a significant paradigm shift in human behavior where plastic is deemed as a resource and not a waste.”

Positive Luxury launches webinar series to inspire and promote change

Sustainability platform Positive Luxury has launched a brand-new weekly webinar series designed to educate, innovate and inspire viewers to be a catalyst for change.         Every Thursday at 2pm (UK time), a group of experts will explore various topics from leadership to creativity in The Power Series. The next edition on 9 April, The Power of Narrative, will feature a panel including journalist and author Dana Thomas, deputy editor at the Financial Times How to Spend It Magazine Beatrice Hodgkin, and CEO of Garrard & Co. Limited Joanne Milner.   They will discuss how the stories we tell can still be powerful, even without a product launch or big announcement. The format of the free Power Series is a 30-minute discussion followed by a Q&A from the audience, with all webinars being subsequently uploaded to YouTube. Other upcoming episodes will delve into The Power of Good Leadership (16 April), The Power of Circularity (22 April) and The Power of Wellness (30 April), with panellists including Valerie Keller, CEO of Imagine; Tom Szaky, founder of TerraCycle; Vanessa Jacobs, CEO of The Restory and mindfulness coach Terrence The Teacher. Positive Luxury, co-founded by Diana Verde Nieto, is the company behind the Butterfly Mark, the symbol awarded to luxury brands to demonstrate a positive social and environmental impact. Christian Dior, GivenchyAnya Hindmarch and Yves Saint Laurent Beauty are some of the luxury brands which have earned the mark.

Jim Hayhurst Asked His Entrepreneur Friends for Advice. They Really Delivered.

Who were the first entrepreneurs you knew? Not family, but friends and peers. I asked myself this recently and quickly came up with a list.   So I emailed my friends and peers and asked: “What do most people not say about being an entrepreneur, but you need to know anyway?” and “What words of advice would you have for your younger entrepreneurial self?”   The response was immediate and overwhelming. Too much to include it all here, in fact. But it says a lot about them and entrepreneurs, in general. They’re the busiest people I know, but they take time to help others.   You will know some of these companies, maybe even some of the founders. Except for one, none of them lives in Victoria, and most of them I’ve known for at least 25 years. Hopefully, that combo makes for fresh yet proven perspectives.   Here is some of the valuable advice they shared with me …   “It took a heart attack in 2019 to realign my focus. Place a priority on your connections, so you can remain present for your personal community (yourself, friends, family and networks).”    — Darsh Thomsen built WaxSeals.com (now Artisaire) into a global leader.       “You have to plant seeds every single day. There is no magic. It is consistency. For this consistent effort, you have to love what you do. You need a purpose and a why.”   — Sue Henderson started Suetables, a line of personalized jewelry, in 2004. Today, her clientele includes moms, movie stars and Meghan Markle.       “Many first-time entrepreneurs believe they can do everything. My experience as an entrepreneur and VC is you will never be successful on your own. It’s about learning to give up that control and trusting others to do things better than you.”    — Amy Jurries left venture capital to launch The GearCaster and Skeleton Key Media.  

“I would tell my younger self to establish a team of advisors who can help navigate you through the process. You don’t have to do it alone. There’s never any shame in asking for help.”   — Jennifer Bassett has created one of Canada’s premier luxury event management companies, Bassett Events.  

“Business is always evolving; evolve with it. Don’t be afraid to do things differently in your industry; there is always a better way.”    — Ian Heaps is CEO of Blundstone Canada and a consummate entrepreneur.  

“Your first mistake is your least expensive. If an idea isn’t unfolding the way you hoped, you need to pivot rather than sink more resources into it out of a sense of commitment. We liken it to the feeling of obligation to finish a book when you aren’t enjoying it … Perseverance can be a great quality and also your downfall.”    — Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe are the founders of the Canadian fashion label Smythe, whose fans include a couple of royal duchesses too.  

“One of the biggest gifts of being an entrepreneur is the freedom of how we choose to spend our time, so give yourself the gift of making your kids a big priority.”    — Kristi Herold founded the Sport & Social Group, one of the first and largest clubs of its kind in North America.  

“One of my previous investors told me, the best ideas are the simplest ones. I don’t believe that. To create something meaningful, you need to take on something pretty hard and complicated. I do believe, however, you need to find something hard and complicated you can make incremental progress on … You don’t ever want to work on a problem without executing against paying customers.”    — Jasper Malcolmson is CEO and founder of the renovation technology company, Skylight.  

“I would tell myself to stop thinking and try to … develop my service or a prototype of my product and just start selling it … then honour the learnings (mostly failures) and pivot, pivot, pivot.”    — Tom Szaky’s latest venture is the global circular shopping platform Loop, which delivers products in returnable/refillable containers from partners like Unilever and Nestleì.  

“I never sugarcoat this with new entrepreneurs who are lining up for slaughter. Are you an artist or entrepreneur? Do you want to have a hobby or a real business? Are you chasing fashion or will your product sell forever as it is? If you can design something once and sell the exact same product for more than 10 years, you’ve hit a home run.”    — Dax Wilkinson’s company, Red Canoe National Heritage Brands, creates apparel and accessories honouring iconic Canadian and global brands.  

“If you think you have to be doubtless to be an entrepreneur, then your first doubt will cause you to fail. The only way to survive self-doubt is to plow ahead.”    — Dorrian Porter is CEO/founder of Vestaboard, making beautifully reimagined split-flap displays (think “smart” European train station boards).       SARAH “I spent the first 20 years of my career thinking that being a woman gave me incredible opportunities. To some degree that’s true, and I am extremely proud of the unique position I have built for myself. But the unfortunate reality is, I’m still fighting for every penny and negotiating to prove my value against my male counterparts. So to my younger self I’d say: ‘You can do it. But you better be strong, confident, optimistic and unbreakable if you want to succeed!’”   ALEX “No one warned me about how much time you really need to commit to succeed. It’s very satisfying when things start to click, but never underestimate the effort you’ll need to put in to get it there. (Whatever anyone tells you, double it!)”    — Sarah Richardson and Alex Younger have more than a few ventures together (in addition to their family!), like Design Lab and the Sarah Richardson Design media empire.       “Dear Young Selves, Do you remember feeling the three of you might be missing out by not engaging with other retailers, turning down developers’ cocktail parties, and feeling that studying trends was a bit too much like looking in a rear-view mirror? Isolating, yes; but it gave birth to inspiration. It was protecting your crazy ideas from the naysayers; putting up a wall between developers and yourselves to protect those who placed their trust in you; and, finally, giving the customer what you knew they wanted … before they even knew it themselves. Because you knew and that was all that mattered. It was good to trust your gut, be guided by your moral compass and be the ultimate disrupter for the time. Thanks for staying true to your ideals. We are very happy.”    — Margot Franssen, Betty-Ann Franssen and Quig Tingley, helped create a new retail category by founding The Body Shop Canada in 1980.  

Jim Hayhurst is a trusted advisor to purpose-driven organizations. He is currently active in six companies and social impact projects that elevate Victoria’s reputation as a hub of innovation, collaboration and big thinking.   This article is from the April/May 2020 issue of Douglas.

Single-use plastic and COVID-19: How to stay eco-friendly in Seattle during the pandemic

On March 25, Governor Jay Inslee signed a single-use plastic bag ban into law in Washington, calling it a "victory for our environment." The bill, which will go into effect on January 1, 2021, will not only ban the use of plastic bags in retail stores, but will also implement an 8-cent charge for other bags handed out.   While that law was being signed in the background of a pandemic that has the state locked down under stay-home orders, many shoppers at grocery stores like Safeway, Albertsons and Fred Meyer were surprised when clerks refused to bag groceries into their reusable totes, citing concerns about the transmission of COVID-19. Shoppers were given the option to either bag their own groceries in reusable bags, or use the store's paper ones.   And these grocery stores weren't the first to stop customers from using reusable items. Earlier in March, Starbucks suspended the use of reusable and personal cups in their stores for employee safety, meaning that customers were only able to purchase drinks in single-use, polyethylene-lined cups unless they were living in a city that was pioneering the company's long-awaited compostable cup.   These two instances are perhaps a sign of the rapidly changing social norms surrounding COVID-19 and growing belief that single-use plastic is a safer, more sanitary alternative to reusable, greener counterparts.   “No disposable package is today sterile, just to be explicitly clear,” said Tom Szaky, the founder and CEO of TerraCycle, in an interview with Grist about coronavirus and the zero waste movement. Szaky stated that the belief that plastic is more sanitary is primarily driven by convenience more than actual fact.   While some media outlets have been quick to make the reemergence of plastic bags a partisan issue, with one quipping that "liberals find plastic annoying," the actual evidence that plastics are safer is minimal. The only analysis into the virus's transmissibility on different surfaces is a recent study from the New England Journal of Medicine which found that the virus was remained viable for up to 72 hours on plastics, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and just 4 hours on copper.   Environmental groups believe that the plastics industry used the crisis to further their own agendas by funding op-eds that misrepresent scientific studies and claim that reusable bags are more dangerous in viral transmission. Greenpeace released a research brief that detailed how plastic manufacturers exploited the pandemic to discredit legislation that bans single-use plastic.   "At a time when people need factual medical research to inform their decisions around protecting their families, the plastics industry has worked to exploit our fears for profits," said Greenpeace USA Plastics Research Specialist Ivy Schlegel. "For years, the plastics industry has pushed industry-funded research to try to discredit the movement to end single-use plastic pollution. And when COVID-19 began to spread, they saw it as an opportunity to strike and activate their network of pro-plastic surrogates. Now more than ever, we need independent guidance from medical professionals to inform our decisions around hygiene and shopping."   While the global environmental impacts of the pandemic won't be known until it is over, there are small silver linings -- with fewer people commuting, it is likely that there will be a decrease in carbon dioxide emissions much like what was seen in China. During their shutdown, the country saw an estimated 25% decrease in carbon emissions. Being eco-friendly might be the last thing on your mind during a global pandemic, but there are some simple things to keep in mind about minimizing waste in your own home. Keep reading and click through the gallery above for small changes you can make during the outbreak to reduce your environmental impact.  
  1. Don't flush disinfectant wipes: Not only is it every plumber's nightmare, but these wipes contain material and chemicals that will not readily degrade in natural environments.
  1. “Flushing only toilet paper helps ensure that the toilets, plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems will continue working properly to safely manage our nation’s wastewater,” the EPA said. “While EPA encourages disinfecting your environment to prevent the spread of COVID-19, never flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items.”
  1. Buy toilet paper brands made with recyclable materials: Not all toilet paper is made the same, in fact, many major brands like Charmin, Kirkland Signature (Costco's in-house brand), Angel Soft, Quilted Northern do not use any recycled content in their toilet paper.
  1. So when you're stocking up, look for rolls that contain recycled materials or ones made with bamboo, a more sustainable option. Or better yet, invest in a bidet and skip the worry about wiping altogether.
  1. Opt for takeout in compostable ware: We all want to support local restaurants in this uncertain time, and takeout or delivery is the almost contact-free option to do so. But before you order, consider if the restaurant is using compostable to-go containers or ask if your food can be packaged in them. Additionally, most delivery apps will give you an option to ditch the additional plastic silverware if you don't need it.
  1. But if your takeout arrives on your doorstep in plastic containers, remember to make sure they are empty, clean and dry before recycling.
  1. 4. Be energy efficient in the house: Now is a good time to implement energy-saving practices around the house, such as switching to LED lightbulbs. Not to mention that it could help lower your utility bills.
8. Don't buy what you don't need: It seems pretty simple, but panic buying supplies, especially those needed by medical professionals such as N-95 masks, disrupts distribution and supply chains. Even if you see empty shelves at a store, resist the urge to panic buy and take only what you will actually consume.

PCPC 2020 at The Breakers Palm Beach

Beauty and Personal Care Industry Leaders Gather During Annual Meeting to Envision a More Sustainable World for Beauty   More than 300 cosmetics and personal care products executives, suppliers and media professionals gathered last week at the Personal Care Products Council’s (PCPC) 126th Annual Meeting at The Breakers Palm Beach. As is tradition, attendees reflected on the beauty industry’s challenges and opportunities with a special focus this year on sustainability.   In celebration of the launch of PCPC’s sustainability initiative, including publication of the first ever industry sustainability report, this year’s meeting theme was Envisioning a More Sustainable World for Beauty. The program highlights important issues of the day, particularly around trust and reputation; environmental impacts; and social and economic issues driving public discourse. This year we are honored to be joined by world-renowned experts who will deliver keynote presentations and lead panel discussions on the following topics:  
  • Richard Edelman, Edelman, discussing the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer
  • Michael Maslansky, Maslansky + Partners, discussing consumer research and insights
  • Andea Campbell, Condeì Nast, presenting on the future of beauty, featuring a panel with Maya Penn, Maya’s Ideas; Tom Szaky, TerraCycle; Esi Eggleston Bracey, Unilever; moderated by Samhita MukhopadhyayTeen Vogue
  • Alex Lorestani, Geltor, discussing transforming the global supply chain
  • Ken Cook, EWG, on the importance of collaboration between industry and NGOs
  • Tom Szaky, TerraCycle, explains the dynamics and economics of waste
  • Pamela Alabaster, Centric Brands, moderates a panel on sustainability, featuring Andrea Flynn, The Esteìe Lauder Companies; Jerry Vittoria, Firmenich; and Chris Sayner, Croda
  • Marie La France, Dash Hudson, discussing AI and social media
  • Carol Cone, Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, leading a discussion with Kelly Vanasse, P&G, and Andrea Flynn, The Esteìe Lauder Companies, on brand purpose and authenticity.
  “We are very proud of the efforts our member companies are making in the sustainable management of their businesses,” said PCPC President and CEO Lezlee Westine, “but we recognize there is more we can do to ensure a more beautiful and sustainable world for us all.” Westine shared her hope that this year’s Annual Meeting would provide cosmetics and personal care products professionals from around the world the rare opportunity to come together to share best practices and forged new partnerships.   George Calvert, PhD, PCPC Board of Directors Chair and Amway Chief Supply Chain Officer, shared Westine’s enthusiasm for the personal care products industry’s bright and sustainable future. “We are proud of how our commitment to healthy people and a healthy planet is reflected in the work of our members and our association,” said Calvert. “Our constant pursuit of improved sustainability is both good business and good stewardship. For years to come, our collective efforts will advance our industry’s reputation, create new opportunities for our teams, drive growth, and make a positive impact on the world.”   As a coveted destination for personal renewal, the Forbes Five-Star, indoor-outdoor Spa at The Breakers nurtures guests with heightened comfort and care, embracing them with a relaxed, modern style that evokes the resort’s casual, seaside sophistication.     Its stunning, contemporary design features modern clean lines, artisan elements and a soothing canvas of white, a setting that celebrates The Breakers’ Italian Renaissance-design roots, history and alluring oceanfront in a very fresh, modern way. “The Spa connects the past to the future honoring traditions that are already deeply held, and welcoming those yet to be established,” said the facility’s internationally renowned designer Sylvia Sepielli, (the Spa Village Bath at Gainsborough Bath Spa – UK, and the Dolder Spa in Zurich).” She envisioned the concept, “held in our hands,” as the essence of The Spa’s commitment to nurturing and healing, and seized on the four elements of ocean, touch, botanicals and tradition as her inspirations for this thoughtfully developed project.   During treatments and throughout the facility, guests are pampered by an expertly-trained, intuitive staff who extend warm, genuine service. The Spa experience engages all of the senses, with touch given special emphasis to soothe, energize or provide relief. “Our highly-skilled team ensures that each guest feels restored and personally renewed, and that the benefits resonate long after departure,” said Tricia Taylor, executive vice president & general manager of The Breakers. “We are dedicated to helping guests maximize the rewards of self-investment during their time with us, we know their need to nurture themselves is a necessity, not a matter of indulgence.”     The curated menu of spa services focuses on efficacy and quality. Treatments feature the finest skin and body care, primarily organic and natural:
  • Tammy Fender Palm Beach-based line of custom-blended 100% natural formulations and holistic skin care for face and body
  • OSEA  powerful marine-based formulations with pure essential oil
  • Guerlain innovative skin care that unites cutting-edge innovation with nature’s natural wonders.
  An array of distinctive spa amenities include:
  • A therapeutic heated sand-quartz bed for massages
  • A Spa Suite with steam shower, chromatherapy tub and private garden terrace
  • A private co-ed outdoor courtyard with soothing water feature; a contemporary interpretation of the classic Medici concept – a secluded area for relaxing and congregating
  • Three dedicated lounges artfully designed for women, men and co-ed use
  • Premium spa retail that features authentic Italian, local and hand-crafted products
  • Salon area for nail and hair services
  For the Spa’s transformation in 2015, Sepielli worked in tandem with Peacock + Lewis Architects and award-wining landscape architect Gregory Lombardi Design. The project was funded by The Breakers’ annual capital improvements budget, which allocates an investment of more than $30 million each year. This unrivaled, long-term financial commitment ensures that this independent resort stays on a path of continuous enhancement and evolves to meet its guests’ ever-growing expectations.   Recognized as one of America’s most iconic resorts, The Breakers is an Italian Renaissance-style hotel situated on 140 acres of oceanfront property in the heart of Palm Beach, Florida. Founded in 1896 by magnate Henry M. Flagler, and still in the hands of his heirs today, this legendary destination continues to thrive as an independent property. Each year, a reinvestment of more than $30 million in capital improvements and ongoing revitalization, balances preservation and modernization.   The Breakers features 538 guest rooms and suites, including the ultra-luxury Flagler Club, a boutique hotel nestled atop of the resort. The property offers nine restaurants ranging from casual beachfront to stylishly sophisticated and a world-class private beach club with four pools, five whirlpool spas, 25 poolside bungalows and a variety of on-site water sports. Additional amenities include: two championship golf courses, 10 Har-Tru tennis courts, a Forbes Five-Star spa, an indoor-outdoor oceanfront fitness center, 12 signature on-site boutiques, and a Family Entertainment Center with an extensive program of activities for children. Along with being recognized as a AAA Five Diamond property, The Breakers has earned numerous accolades for its social impact on the environment, the community and team member well-being.   For reservations or more information, contact the resort at 888-BREAKERS (273-2537) or visit thebreakers.com.

SMART Annual Convention to address circular economy for textiles Textiles recycling event to feature industry experts and “upcycled” fashion show

The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) Association's Annual Convention is taking place March 14-17, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida. Speakers this year will include TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky and Journalist/author Elizabeth Kline.   Open only to current members of the association, the Annual Convention, themed "Putting it in Motion," will feature expert speakers, panel discussions and unique networking opportunities for professionals within the textile reuse and recycling industry.   The convention will address the topic of the circular economy, a system where products and services are traded in closed loops or "cycles." According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's 2016 publication, Trash to Treasure: Changing Waste Streams to Profit Streams, one of the most comprehensive ways to eliminate waste and increase profits in a business is to adopt a circular economy model, where products and services are designed to be refurbished and repaired throughout their lifecycle.   "The topic of circular economy has become a part of the vernacular of the reuse and recycling industry," says Jackie King, SMART's executive director. "Programming for our Annual Convention this year is designed to help our member companies understand the importance of the circular economy, and what they can do to adapt or evolve their businesses so they don't get left behind."   The event features two keynote presentations. The first, entitled, "Loop: Solving for Disposability While Maintaining Its Virtues," will be presented by Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle . TerraCycle is a waste management company known for its innovative approaches to eliminating waste. Operating across 21 countries, the company partners with leading consumer product companies and retailers to recycle products and packages, from dirty diapers to cigarette butts, that would otherwise be directed to a landfill or be incinerated. Szaky's presentation will educate attendees on the theories of waste management and present ideas on how businesses can do their part to eliminate it.     The second keynote, "Conscious Consumers and the Rise of Resale Shopping," will be presented by Elizabeth Kline, a New York-based journalist, author and expert on consumer culture, fast fashion, textile waste and sustainability of the clothing industry. Her presentation, based on her new book, The Conscious Closet, will explore how secondhand is key to satisfying the conflicting demands of conscious consumers who want it all - sustainability, affordability and lots of choices. She will share her experience researching the global secondhand industry over the past three years, and her findings.   In addition to exceptional programming, SMART's Annual Convention will also feature an "upcycled" fashion show, where SMART member companies are invited to walk the runway, donning their finest ensembles made from any textile materials sourced from within their businesses.   The convention's platinum sponsors include Bank and Vogue Limited, Green Team Worldwide Environmental Group, International Trading Solutions, Mid West Textile Co, NPS Corporation, Star Wipers, Inc., TEXAID Textilverwertungs-AG, Whitehouse & Schapiro, LLC; gold sponsors Garson & Shaw, LLC and Tranzonic Companies; silver sponsors Canada Fortune Group, Trans-Americas Trading Co and Wipeco Industries; bronze sponsors J and K Textiles International Private Limited, Mednik Riverbend, SC Roseco SRL and Wipeco Inc.   To learn more about SMART and the work of its members - for-profit businesses in the textile reuse and recycling industry - visit www.smartasn.org. For questions about the Annual Convention, or becoming a SMART member, contact Director of Meetings & Member Services, Heather Lester, CMP, at 443-640-1050 x112 or heather@kingmgmt.org.

Tom Szaky and REN Skincare on a unique sustainability partnership

Loop-30.01.20.jpg In this interview, TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky talks to Arnaud Meysselle, CEO of REN Clean Skincare about the later's partnership with Loop - TerraCycle's global circular shopping platform. REN Clean Skincare has a substantial sustainability platform. Please tell us about it. REN Clean Skincare has adopted a holistic approach to sustainability, especially since pledging to be Zero Waste by 2021. There’s no silver bullet to sustainability, but the changes we've made demonstrate a commitment toward reducing waste through the use of recycled materials and recyclable and refillable packaging solutions. We’ve included as much PCR as is currently viable in the packaging of our latest launches, Clean Screen Mineral SPF, Non-Drying Spot Treatment and Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser, which have been designed with circularity in mind. We’ve also used reclaimed ocean plastic sourced by TerraCycle® in the production of a 100% recycled bottle, raising awareness of a larger climate waste problem. With Loop, we’re aiming to avoid waste creation altogether, providing refillable solutions that allow customers to return their packaging to be cleaned, refilled, and delivered time and time again. How did the partnership with TerraCycle and its circular shopping platform Loop start? Our partnership with Loop is an essential - and exciting - step forward in our pledge to become Zero Waste by 2021. REN Clean Skincare first partnered with leading recycling innovator TerraCycle in 2018 as one of the first prestige skincare brands to offer a product in a 100% recycled PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) bottle, 20% of which is reclaimed from the ocean. Showcased in our award-winning Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body Wash and Lotion, with more packs to follow, the reclaimed plastic content is collected from oceans, beaches, rivers, lakes and the banks of those waterways by global NGOs mobilized through TerraCycle’s network. How does the partnership with Loop fit with REN’s priorities? Loop’s vision to create a circular refillable system aligned with our Zero Waste initiative so well that we were the first premium beauty brand to sign up. A subscription service can be daunting for some customers, but to ours, who engage with our sustainability ethos, we are delighted to offer a mess-free, convenient refill option that keeps our packaging from becoming waste in the first place. What can consumers expect from REN Clean Skincare in Loop? Six of our bestselling products will be available in glass bottles, making them easier to clean and refill, with a single-material plastic pump, which is easier to recycle than standard pumps with metal springs. Loop has an entire team dedicated to creating stringent design specifications for Loop packages to ensure they are durable, transport well, hold temperature, and protect the products inside. With this collaboration, consumers can expect the same luxury products with clean, high-quality ingredients, now in beautiful, durable packaging with the added premium service and convenience of delivery and pickup. What was REN’s process with its packaging in order to join Loop? As the first premium beauty brand to join Loop, there was an element of learning together. We were lucky to have a transparent relationship where we could test packaging and adapt on the go. Many ideas and packaging concepts later, we have our refillable glass bottles that are durable enough to be cleaned and reused over and over, while our pumps are being dismantled and recycled. With advancing technology, the aim is that these pumps can be cleaned and reused alongside our bottles before eventually being recycled. However, it’s an ongoing process. With Loop, we will be continually reviewing and testing our refillable solutions to ensure they are compatible with the Loop circular model while staying true to the REN Clean Skincare brand. What are the learnings to carry into 2020, be they issues of packaging design, supply chain, logistics, marketing, public opinion, or educating consumers around the circular economy? Education is the key factor in minimising waste. We know our customers are keen to lessen their environmental impact. As recycling methods differ from country to country, and even council to council, it can be hard to find relevant information. It’s up to us to lobby councils to become more waste-conscious, while also designing packaging that can be recycled more easily within current facilities and educating customers through our communications to dispose of it correctly to ensure it reaches the appropriate recycling stream. In addition to Loop, what are REN’s other plans for innovating for the future? We have exciting upcoming projects that fulfill the three key areas of our Zero Waste pledge. With Loop, we explore refillable and reusable solutions, but we’re also working to redesign our packaging into fully recyclable vessels, with no metal pumps and single-type plastic. We’ve broken new ground with Infinity Recycling, which involves the launch of a new pack using circular polymers certified by SABIC, a global leader in pioneering sustainable material solutions by facilitating reuse of the planet’s natural resources. We are proud to be the first luxury beauty brand to support this groundbreaking recycling technology that is capable of regenerating plastic waste to deliver certified recycled plastic identical to virgin, a great addition to current technologies. Our upcoming launches will maximise the use of PCR plastic usage and recyclability, working towards our pledge of being Zero Waste by 2021. What is your advice for other companies (big and small) who want to design into the circular economy but don’t know where to start? It’s not being wrong you should fear - it’s not trying. With new technologies constantly arising, sustainability can be complex and takes constant review to stay up to date. At REN Clean Skincare our main ethos was Clean to Skin and we have proudly evolved by adding Clean to Planet with a 50/50 importance. If you build it into your brand, it will soon become intrinsic to your processes. Remember, there is not one solution to sustainability, the approach you take will depend on your vision of sustainability, your consumer and your product. Don’t follow other brands for their action, make your actions as part of your product offering and brand purpose.