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Herbal Essences Beach Plastic Collection Bottles Are Made From Recycled Plastic Cleaned From Beaches

Herbal Essences is joining the eco-friendly movement, where the hair care company is cutting back on waste with its packaging. Herbal Essences' Beach Plastic collection uses bottles made with 25 percent recycled plastic cleaned up from beaches. Not only are the bottles made from a percentage of recycled materials, but the bottles directly use the trash that is polluting coastlines.   Eight million tons of plastic waste ends up in rivers, lakes and oceans each year. This waste is often times unable to be recycled, thanks to its exposure to nature. That means that the plastic that's recovered off of sandy beaches and streams is thrown directly into landfills, contributing to the buildup of waste.   In honor of World Water Day, which falls on March 22, Herbal Essences has teamed up with TerraCycle to find a solution to eliminate non-recyclable plastic waste and to bring awareness to plastic pollution. TerraCycle is a recycling company that has made it its specialty to reuse hard-to-recycle materials. The organization collects non-recyclable waste that is a product of pre-consumer and post-consumer debris, and partners with corporations to turn it into raw materials to be used in new products.   “Plastic floating in our oceans and rivers has been a recent topic for discussion and unless people work to find solutions, it stays just that — a discussion,” says Tom Szaky, TerraCycle CEO, in a statement. “By incorporating beach plastic into their bottles, Herbal Essences is showing that they are committed to doing something and leading by example. I look forward to our continued work together to raise awareness and make a bigger difference.”   According to Allure, Herbal Essences estimates that it will save an estimated three tons of beach plastic from ending up in the trash.   Seeing how Herbal Essences delivers its products in plastic bottles, creating a line of shampoos and conditioners in recycled plastic helps to cut down the brand's carbon footprint. The eco-friendly collection also makes shoppers more aware of their role in responsible consumption. While there is a growing number of indie hair care brands that use cardboard boxes that are made from recycled materials to deliver their products, not many mainstream brands have made the switch yet. Herbal Essences switching to bottles that use non-recyclable waste is an innovative alternative to committing to paper packaging.     The Beach Plastic bottles are limited-edition, and will be available from March to June 2019. That doesn't mean that Herbal Essences will end its commitment to becoming more eco-friendly.   "This is a step towards our long-term vision of using 100 percent renewable and recycled materials in our products and packaging," says Ilaria Resta, North America General Manager of P&G Hair Care, in a statement.   As for the actual line, Herbal Essences is re-bottling three collections from the brand's Bio:Renew range, which is free of colorants, parabens and gluten. You will find White Grapefruit & Mosa Mint, Argan Oil, and Coconut Milk in these new recycled bottles. These three repackaged collections will make up the Beach Plastic range.   If you want your beauty routine to become more eco-conscious, using brands that are committed to lowering non-recyclable materials is a great first step.

Pilot Diaper Recycling Program Underway in Amsterdam

Diaper manufacturer Procter and Gamble is partnering with AEB, TerraCycleand FaterSMART to use innovative diaper recycling bins for the collection of used diapers in Amsterdam. The pilot  program, first of its kind worldwide, is facilitated by the Municipality of Amsterdam. to help the partners learn from families what works for them in separating diaper waste.  Recent research among Dutch parents shows that almost 70% of families would participate in a diaper recycling project and that 82% of Dutch parents would not mind separating their diaper waste from other waste. In addition, half of the Dutch parents say they feel that establishing a viable diaper recycling program is primarily the responsibility of diaper producers. The pilot program will involve about 200 and 10 diaper recycling bins in two neighborhoods in Amsterdam—Amsterdam Zuidoost and Amsterdam Oost. Parents can deposit diaper waste from all brands in the bins at locations they often visit, such as nurseries and drug stores. The bins, designed by TerraCycle and can be opened by parents with a special Pampers Recycling app. The app also shows the location of the nearest bin. The advanced diaper recycling technique that will be introduced in the Netherlands in the future was developed and patented by FaterSMART, a business unit of Fater, a joint venture of Procter & Gamble and Angelini Group (the manufacturer of Pampers in Italy). This machine uses high temperature and steam under pressure to separate human waste from the diaper materials. It sterilizes the products and neutralizes the odor. A specific mechanical system separates plastic, cellulose and super absorbent material from each other, and these raw materials are used to produce new materials. For example, cellulose is used for the production of fabric bags, the superabsorbent material is used in various moisture-absorbing products and plastic produces diaper pails or bottle caps.  The technology is currently already being used on an industrial scale in Italy and will be introduced in Amsterdam as the first city in the Netherlands and in the first place outside Italy, in collaboration with AEB.  

Tide and TerraCycle launch Eco-Box Recycling Program

Building on its commitment to developing sustainable laundry solutions, Tide is proud to announce its strategic partnership with international recycler TerraCycle. This will allow the new Tide Eco-Box packaging to be 100 percent recyclable from bag to box, according to TerraCycle. The new Tide Eco-Box is designed to be environmentally friendly. Its new ultra-concentrated Tide formula is produced with 30% less water, and its package has 60% less plastic than the equivalent bottled size. The innovative boxed design doesn't require wasteful secondary packaging and takes up less space than the equivalent bottle, which means fewer trucks needed to transport it to stores. "TerraCycle is the logical next step for us, because we want to ensure that not only is the product designed for more eco-friendly shipping and usage, but that every element of it is 100% recyclable, and recyclable through a very seamless process," said P&G Brand Manager Isaac Hellemn. Through the Tide Eco-Box Recycling Program, consumers can recycle all of the packaging from the Eco-Box for free. Participants are invited to sign up on the program page at this LINK.  Once finished with the Eco-Box, users separate any plastic waste from the cardboard box and mail it in using a prepaid shipping label. Once collected, the plastic is cleaned and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products. Additionally, for every pound of waste shipped to TerraCycle, collectors can earn $1 to donate to a non-profit, school or charitable organization of their choice. To recycle the corrugated cardboard box, participants can enter their address into the interactive map at teracycle.com and search for available recycling options, including TerraCycle drop-off locations and municipal recycling programs. "Each year, more than 79 percent of waste that ends up in landfills has the potential to be recycled," said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. "TerraCycle, in association with companies like Tide, works every day to reduce that number and integrate single-use packaging into new products." The Tide Eco-Box Recycling Program is open to any interested individual, school, office, or community organization. For more information on TerraCycle's recycling program, visit www.terracycle.com. Procter & Gamble, which manufactures TIDE, is one of over a dozen brands which have partnered with TerraCycle on the recently launched Loop - a new packaging model launched in the U.S. and France. Loop, debuted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland at the end of January, is a new shopping system and the first of its kind to offer hundreds of name brand products in reusable and refillable packaging. The pilot program is expected to launch this spring in the Paris metro area and the New York City area - including parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Compostable ‘bioplastics’ make inroads with consumers

Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastics — especially single-use items like bags, straws and picnic tableware — many supermarkets and vendors are offering an array of compostable alternatives made from plant fibers or starches. “The market for compostable products is growing at an incredible pace,” says Olga Kachook, sustainability manager for Petaluma, California-based World Centric, which makes ones geared mostly toward food services in stadiums, school cafeterias, hotels, restaurants and convention centers. Those facilities work with industrial composting facilities, which can cut their waste exponentially. Bioplastics, as the rapidly evolving products are also known, can be made from corn, potatoes, rice, tapioca, palm fiber, wood cellulose, wheat fiber, sugar, or sometimes even shrimp shells, seaweed or algae. Not all bioplastics are compostable, but those that are can go right into one big industrial-composting bin along with food waste. “Ultimately, all households will need to have a three-bin system, for industrial compost, recycling and waste. Consumers and companies are trying hard to identify more sustainable ways of doing things, and compostable products are an important part of the picture,” says Rhodes Yepsen, executive director of the New York-based Biodegradable Products Institute, which offers a certification ensuring that products claiming to be compostable actually are. Items must be thin enough to be compostable. Products that are certified compostable either carry BPI’s seal of approval or are listed on the organization’s website. The number of certified compostable products has increased by 80 percent in the past few years, according to BPI. Many of these products, like bags, cups and dishes, are increasingly available in grocery stores. But compostable technology is still new, and whether or not products are certified, it’s best to check with your local composting facility before adding them to the rest of your organic waste, experts agree. Melissa Ozawa, gardening and features editor at Martha Stewart Living magazine, says, “The best thing you can do is to use reusables. Keep your own utensils at work, your own tote bag for the grocery store, glass containers for home storage. And if you decide to use bioplastics and don’t have access to a composting facility, consider joining with others in your community to try to get one. They won’t biodegrade in your home garden or in a landfill.” Yepsen says over 5 million households already have three-bin systems. “We have a long way to go, but it’s encouraging to think about where recycling was in the ’80s and where it is now,” he says. “That’s what’s happening now with compostables. It will take some time, but I fully expect in the next 10 to 20 years, most communities will have curbside compost pickup.” But critics say bioplastics are no silver bullet. “They’re not as great as they seem at first glance,” says Brett Stevens, global vice president of material sales and procurement at the recycling company TerraCycle, based in Trenton, New Jersey. Most households have no access to the industrial composting facilities needed to quickly break down these products, he notes. If they are tossed in with other plastics for recycling, they pollute the recycling stream, and if tossed in the trash, they aren’t much better than traditional plastic. Compostable products “are renewable in the sense that they can be grown and regenerated again and again,” writes Tom Szaky, TerraCycle’s CEO, in his book “From Linear to Circular: The Future of Packaging” (2019, Berrett-Koehler Publishers). “What most consumers don’t realize is that biodegradable bioplastics will break down only under the right conditions — those of an industrial composting facility. And even if that happens, they won’t contribute value to the compost, unlike coffee grounds or leaves, which have a wide range of micro- and macronutrients as well as a living ecosystem of bacteria and other microbes,” Szaky says. If sent to an industrial-scale composting facility “with actively managed piles of compost under controlled conditions, and fed a diet of digest microbes,” compostable products will break down in less than two months, says Jeremy Kranowitz, a board member of the non-profit group Sustainable America. ” In someone’s backyard compost heap, it could easily take more than a year. If they are accidentally sent to a landfill and buried, it could take over a century. And if they go into a plastics recycling bin, they will contaminate the recycling process.” Those promoting compostable plastics counter that plastic recycling is already problematic, since only a small fraction of plastic products make it into the recycling stream, and the market for recycled plastics is limited. They also say that no matter where bioplastics end up, they are more sustainable to produce than traditional plastics, made from fossil fuels. And even detractors admit that if compostable products do end up in oceans, they break down more quickly than traditional plastics. “It’s complicated,” says Yepsen. “But the composting infrastructure is slowly being built up across the country, and there’s huge potential in this.”  

Recycling initiative stops cigarette litter

  TerraCycle, the world’s leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams, has joined forces with Keep Liberty Beautiful (KLB), a Keep America Beautiful affiliate, to collect and recycle cigarette butts throughout Liberty County and Fort Stewart. “Because cigarette butts are so small, some people do not think they are littering,” said KLB Executive Director Karen Bell. “By working with volunteers throughout Liberty County to conduct cleanups and recycle the cigarette butts it brings awareness to the cigarette litter prevention program.” She also said, “We will 50 cigarette receptacles that Liberty County businesses, parks, restaurants, and bars can have for free!  We will have volunteers that will empty the receptacles and ship them off to be recycled.” Through this program, KLB is not only addressing the nation’s most commonly littered item but also a form of unbiodegradable plastic waste. Since implementing cigarette receptacles in 2014, Keep Liberty Beautiful has raised awareness and furthered their goal of achieving cigarette litter reduction throughout Liberty County and Fort Stewart. KLB has placed cigarette receptacles in a variety of locations throughout the county including but not limited to: three in Riceboro Creek, one in the Midway Community Complex, one in Half Moon Marina and six at bus stops along General Screven Way. KLB currently maintains a total of thirteen cigarette receptacles throughout the county and ships all collected waste to TerraCycle for recycling. When processed, the paper and tobacco is separated from the filter and composted. The filter is recycled into plastic pellets which can be used by manufacturers to make a number of products such as shipping pallets, ashtrays and park benches. “These receptacles will help keep Liberty County free of one of the most littered items on the planet,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “With this program, KLB is taking a step to reduce the amount of trash going to landfill while also preserving the area’s natural beauty.” TerraCycle has collected hundreds of millions of cigarette butts globally. Additionally, through its various recycling programs, it has engaged over 100 million people across 21 countries to collect and recycle more than four billion pieces of waste that were otherwise non-recyclable.

Tom Szaky: How to repackage packaging

bottles and cans in a recycling bin
This is adapted from "The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular,"by Tom Szaky (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2019). We Americans often toss packaging in the trash without much thought. As stated previously, even though we are only 4.4 percent of the world’s population, we produce 20 percent of the world’s garbage; much of it is packaging and printed paper (PPP). Proportionally, that’s a lot. The Future of Packaging book coverEveryone who touches packaging has a role to play in ensuring that its value is captured and that it doesn’t add to the world’s pollution. But who should be first in line to take financial responsibility? Is it the producers who make it, the retailers who sell it, or the cities where all of this takes place? Or is it, perhaps, the consumers who choose to buy it? Despite the global fragmentation of laws and waste management systems, government has a major role in changing consumer and industry behavior when it comes to wasteful packaging. We see that especially when encouraged through a mode we all understand: money — in the form of fines, penalties and incentives. When such levers are put into place, people improve their behavior quickly and dramatically. Businesses are subject to vast amounts of government regulation in the interest of protecting consumers and ensuring a level playing field. Among other things, laws today require that labels and packages provide more facts about the contents inside and aim to preserve our health. In the world of consumer packaged goods, we see this with certified-organic and organic-transitional labeling, specific ingredient bans, fair-trade sourcing conditions and acceptable levels of certain chemicals in products and packaging.  
piece of trash on desk
ShutterstockP. Oqvist
Although Americans constitute only 4.4 percent of the world’s population, we produce 20 percent of the world’s garbage.
  But can you think of any laws regulating the end of life of the packaging itself? Many such laws exist around the world, especially in developed countries. In the United States, some mandatory recycling laws exist at the state and local levels, but federally there are none.

Challenges to recycling laws

Business brings tax revenue and jobs to cities, states and countries, so business interests often drive government regulations. But there are regulations that businesses don’t like, mainly those that cost money and reduce the ability to maximize profits. For most businesses and entrepreneurs, regulations are often viewed as financial and legal barriers to growth, and corporations see it as an obstruction to their desire to maximize return for their shareholders. While their member companies finance recycling and resource management systems throughout the world, trade associations such as the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment and the Grocery Manufacturers Association have opposed legislation in the United States under the philosophy that packaging disposal, recycling and litter cleanup costs should be the responsibility of government. Thus recycling laws get left to the states in the form of bottle bills; the banning of Styrofoam containers, plastic bags and drinking straws; and guidelines for the disposal of e-waste, paint and pharmaceuticals. This means the make-use-dispose linear economy pipeline currently employed around the world becomes only more and more pronounced and entrenched as time goes on. Year after year manufacturers create new products at a fraction of the cost of their predecessors, so more people now own more and more things —things that have a shorter and shorter useful life.  
Take, make, waste linear model
Product Stewardship Council
The take-make-dispose economy for packaging only grows more pronounced as businesses continue to make products that are unrecyclable — and that are a fraction of the cost.
Policies like bottle bills tend to get pushback from industry. Although bottle bills provide consistent, high-quality recycled material, industry often argues that such regulations are cumbersome, expensive and a logistical nightmare. As a result, they end up not being passed; in the end governments can regulate only to the point that society is willing to bear. Even with broad availability of recycling programs in much of the United States, the recycling rate for PPP — including traditional curbside recyclables such as aluminum, glass, plastic, paperboard, newspapers, phone books and office paper — has been stagnant for the past decade.

Extended producer responsibility

One solution may be to shift the responsibility from taxpayers and governments to product manufacturers, as they have the distinct ability to choose what package forms they use for their products. With this in mind, should they be the primary responsible party to pay for the proper end-of-life management of their products and packages, even if this cost finds its way to the consumer in the end? Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is the policy concept that extends a manufacturer’s responsibility for reducing upstream product and packaging impacts to the downstream stage, when consumers are done with them. There are more than 110 EPR laws currently in place for over 13 product categories in more than 30 U.S. states. The United States, however, is currently one of only three nations of the 35-member Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that does not have an EPR system specifically for packaging in place or under development. EPR packaging laws have been in place for up to 30 years in 11 countries in Asia, South America and Africa, as well as in Australia, 34 European nations and five Canadian provinces. While not all EPR programs are alike, the best ones are not voluntary in nature and produce recycling rates far higher than what we have experienced in the United States. British Columbia and Belgium, both of which have EPR packaging laws in place, have attained nearly 80 percent PPP recovery. Voluntary industry-led programs, while laying a foundation for collection and recycling systems, rarely lead to systemic changes that significantly increase the quantity and value of the materials collected, and they do not provide a sustainable funding source across all producers in a certain category. For instance, although voluntary initiatives to collect plastic films at retail outlets have helped reduce contamination of plastic bags in the recycling stream, many U.S. municipalities deem this effort insufficient, resulting in a flurry of bag bans and fees seeking to significantly change consumer behavior and decrease the use of plastic shopping bags.  
Map of countries around the world with recycling incentives
Environmental Packaging International
Countries with extended producer responsibility laws for packaging.
EPR laws that require brand owners to cover the cost of recycling post-consumer PPP provide an incentive to producers to reduce the amount of packaging they use, incorporate environmentally preferable materials into their packaging, and maximize material recovery and quality. In contrast to the fragmented municipal programs currently in place, well-designed EPR systems provide consistency by establishing statewide producer-funded programs that accept the same materials in all cities and towns and convey the same educational messaging. Such policies also help meet the supply needs of industry. Today many brand owners that pledge to incorporate recycled content into their products often cannot procure enough recycled material to meet their needs. With strong EPR laws, producers stand to gain access to greater amounts of post-consumer recycled material. These programs also offer financial incentives that encourage manufacturers to design their packaging to be more recyclable. EPR packaging laws are spreading globally and growing in viability partly because the recycling or disposal cost is typically paid by manufacturers and their consumers, not taxpayers and government agencies, freeing up millions of dollars for other municipal services. In addition, these programs provide a direct financial incentive for manufacturers to use materials that are less expensive to recycle, increasing their value and opportunity to be brought back into the circular economy.  EPR packaging systems are continually evolving. The most innovative are those that charge a fee to manufacturers for each packaging material type based on its cost to recycle or dispose of. One such system charges manufacturers less for producing glass than plastics, as well as less for PET and HDPE containers, compared with films, polystyrene and other plastics that are not easily recycled. This closed-loop recycling system provides a direct financial incentive for manufacturers to choose environmentally preferable (often more highly recyclable) materials in their packaging. To be clear, all of this extra cost does directly end up in the price of the product a consumer pays in the end. But perhaps this cost is better incurred at checkout than in negative externalities — like greenhouse gas emissions, marine debris, resource scarcity, toxicity, and food and drinking-water pollution — and continuing the burden on municipalities and taxpayers to subsidize waste.

green corner: The urgent call for change to prevent a plastic earth

Imagine going on vacation and walking on a beautiful, warm Caribbean beach. All seems serene and calm, until a huge patch of plastic waste is found, only for an endless amount of plastic water bottlesplastic bags, straws and other plastic waste to be found as further investigation is taken. Unfortunately, this tragic occurrence is a reality that has become increasingly common along the shores of the Caribbean islands. As stated by the British Broadcasting Company, the United Kingdom alone uses approximately 13 billion plastic water bottles each year, of which only over 3 billion are recycled. That leaves a whopping 10 billion plastic water bottles placed either directly into landfills or discarded as litter which affects local habitats. According to Marine Insight, people around the world throw away a total of 4 million tons of trash a day, of which 12.8 percent is plastic. This number adds up to approximately 186 million tons of plastic simply thrown away each year — a staggering amount of plastic that ends up in landfills and damages entire ecosystems. Unfortunately, the damage of plastic not only affects the Caribbean, but also our local beaches and other natural environments. Plastic water bottles, bags and straws are just a fraction of the waste that washes up on our shores. When asked how plastic affects local ecosystems around Rider,  Jordan Dreyer, a sophomore film, TV and radio major said, “Although it may not be thought of by everyone, the plastic that is thrown away ends up somewhere on earth. The pollution that plastic creates ends up destroying the habitats of the plants and animals around us, all of which are important in keeping the balance of the ecosystem.” While it does seem rather grim sometimes with the rapid increase of plastic waste around the world, there are a plethora of organizations that have been created to not only help recycle more plastic, but to make people more aware of the harmful effects of plastic. One of these organizations is RecycleMania, an eight-week competition with colleges from around the country who compete to see which institutions can to recycle the most. Rider’s very own office of sustainability is doing its part in this competition. When asked how people could become more conscientious with their plastic use, Brennan Zelenski, a junior accounting major, said, “People should be sure to recyclenot only their plastic water bottles, but their everyday items such as body wash and shampoo containers. If everyone were to encourage recycling, plastic pollution would not be as much of a problem as it is today.” Thankfully, Rider’s Office of Sustainability also works with local recycling company Terracycle. The Terracycle Beauty Brigade was implemented to take students’ empty beauty and shower products so they could be recycled and transformed into entirely new products, creating zero waste in the process. While plastic pollution is a problem that affects all of the earth, there are so many organizations doing their parts to reduce plastic waste. All it takes is a bit of effort and care from everyone to preserve this beautiful planet that we call home and save it for many generations to come.