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A Word About Recycling with Ollie Maier

Sunday, February 3, 2019

With the Super Bowl upon us, I will try to keep this relatively short. Here, from a Resource Recycling newsletter, is what I think is a great idea. The article was titled "Sustainability-minded corporations comes together to announce new convenient and waste-free shopping platform."

This new platform, or rather program, called "Loop" will be tested in Paris and New York City starting this spring.

Under Loop, a number of the largest consumer product companies will have a system where the packaging used for products will no longer be a one-time use but will be turned back in for reuse or recycled.

And when we say some of the largest consumer product companies are involved, we aren’t kidding. They include: Procter & Gamble, Nestle, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mars Petcare, The Clorox Company, The Body Shop and Coca Cola.

Other, probably lesser known are: European Partners, Mondelēz International, Danone, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Lesieur, BIC, Beiersdorf, RB, People Against Dirty, Nature’s Path, Thousand Fell, Greenhouse, Grilliance, Burlap & Barrel Single Origin Spices, Reinberger Nut Butter, CoZie and Preserve plus a leading food retailer Carrefour.

“This approach to shopping was made possible as a result of innovation investments made by the founding partners and their commitment to developing more circular supply chains from package design to manufacturing through consumer use," the article said.

The aim was to offer a zero-waste option for the world’s most popular consumer products while maintaining affordability, improving convenience and returning used disposable or durable items to a circular life cycle either through reuse or recycling.

The environmental benefits of this type of Loop durable packaging vs. single use packaging have already been proven and verified. However, they will be further validated in these efforts in France and the northeastern United States.

In the Loop program, consumers will be able to responsibly consume products in specially-designed durable, reusable or fully recyclable packaging made from materials like alloys, glass and engineered plastics. When a consumer returns the packaging, it is refilled, or the content is reused or recycled through "groundbreaking" technology.

Under this program, consumers will buy products with this specially designed packaging which eliminates the need for single-use shipping materials like cardboard boxes.

After use, the special packaging is placed in a ‘Loop’ Tote. A member of the Loop effort will pick up these totes directly from the home. The special packaging is then cleaned by a "custom cleaning technology" and is either refilled, recycled or reused.

If refilled, and the customer wants to use more of the product, the refilled item is returned to the home. Even other products, such as diapers, pads, razors or brush parts, will be recovered to be reused or recycled.

The company coordinating it all, TerraCycle, is an innovative waste management company with a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. It operates internationally across 21 countries. They recycle everything including dirty diapers and cigarette butts, items which would otherwise end up being landfilled or incinerated.

They have won over 200 awards for sustainability and has donated over $25 million to schools and charities since it was founded 15 years ago. They sound like a great company with wonderful ideas. Let’s hope the new tests prove successful and are incorporated in other cities.

Till next week, do have an enjoyable and safe one,

--Ollie is a local citizen concerned with the environment and helping others. A retired Air Force fighter and instructor pilot, he is a graduate of Leadership San Marcos and received his degrees at Texas State University where he worked on staff before totally retiring. For questions or comments, he invites you to call him at 512-353-7432 or e-mail

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666