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Sponsored Waste: Sustainability gets Upcycled Waste Not

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Stonyfield Farms, Honest Tea, Clif Bar and TerraCycle join forces to eliminate the idea of waste

Four environmentally responsible companies created an innovative way to collect and reuse product packaging. Three organic food companies, Stonyfield Farm, Honest Tea, and Clif Bar joined forces with TerraCycle to operate four collection efforts to prevent millions of drink pouches, yogurt containers, energy bar wrappers and soda bottles from clogging our nation’s landfills. TerraCycle is then turning this ‘waste’ into eco-friendly, affordable TerraCycle products.

Almost all consumer products come in some kind of packaging, whether it’s a bottle, can, container, pouch, or wrapper. Usually this packaging is discarded once the product is used and the packaging ends its lifecycle in a landfill. Because there was no more use for these materials, they are considered waste.

By making or packaging eco-friendly products from used containers, TerraCycle, with the help of Honest Tea, Stonyfield Farm and Clif Bar, hopes to eliminate the idea of waste. This is the first time industry leaders like Stonyfield Farm and Clif Bar have set up collection programs reclaiming their used packages so it can be upcycled into a new product.

The collection programs, called the Yogurt Brigade, Drink Pouch Brigade, Wrapper Brigade and Bottle Brigade are free to any school, community group or non-profit. Participating locations will earn two cents for every pouch, six oz yogurt container or energy bar wrapper and five cents for 32 oz yogurt container or 20 oz bottles. Donations will be made to a charitable organization or school of the location’s choice.

“TerraCycle has a unique opportunity to help larger companies to reduce their waste streams, while procuring zero cost materials to make eco-friendly products.” Says TerraCycle Founder and CEO, Tom Szaky. “This idea, called ‘Sponsored Waste’, benefits any large company with a non-recyclable packaging and helps TerraCycle provide consumers with affordably priced, eco-friendly products.”

These programs will limit the amount of waste in landfills, teach kids about the importance of recycling and give money back to non-profits and schools. Plus, all the collected materials will be the building blocks of sustainable, eco-friendly products. For more information, or to sign up your school, charity or even your office visit:

The used drink pouches will be sewn into tote bags, handbags and pencil pouches for kids and adults. The drink pouch line will be available at Target and Walgreens in 2008.

The used yogurt containers will be hand painted by inner-city artists and turned into planting pots for gardeners called Yo’Planter! This is a revolutionary approach to replacing the original, non-recyclable plastic planting pots used by nurseries and retailers. Now there is an innovative way to lessen over ten million plastic pots that are discarded each year.

These collection programs are based on TerraCycle’s widely popular Bottle Brigade, which has over 4,000 locations across the country. Schools and other community groups are paid six cents for every delabeled, used 20 oz soda bottle they collect. TerraCycle uses the bottles to package their organic Worm Poop plant food which is available at The Home Depot, Target and Wal*Mart nationwide.