Alert: Packaging World now enhanced for the iPad and iPhone. Watch a quick video preview
 
Download this free, 80-page Food Safety Playbook jam-packed with strategies for success, best practices, how to ensure compliance with FSMA, and pitfalls to avoid. Written specifically from a packaging perspective  Learn more >>
 
Article |

Terracycle CEO: It's not always about the money

As keynote speakers go, they don’t get more energetic, entertaining, and informative than Terracycle co-founder and CEO Tom Szaky, the opening keynoter at the Institute of Packaging Professionals’ Packaging Summit 2010, in Rosemont, IL.
Print Reprint
FILED IN:  Machinery  > Filling/sealing  > Capping
     

In Szaky’s May 18 presentation at the Summit, he took the audience through his firm’s discovery that

• worm poop is a fabulous fertilizer for garden plants

• worm poop can be liquefied, bottled, and sold through major retail chains

• discarded soft drink containers are a viable way to get liquefied worm poop to market

Along the way, Szaky (photo below) described how Terracycle had to negotiate with Pepsi and Coke for the rights to use their bottle shapes. He also talked about bottling, sleeving, and capping thousands of bottles of liquid garden fertilizer by hand before opening a factory in New Jersey; about getting sued by Scott’s, the garden product company, for trade dress infringement; and about how Terracycle and its unique upcycling concept of turning packaging waste into consumer products—bags, kites, pencil cases--is taking off around the world. “We’re establishing ourselves in a new country about every six weeks,” he told his Packaging Summit audience.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the whole Terracycle story is the extent to which the firm has captured the confidence and partnership of so many major brand owners and retailers alike. Kraft’s Capri Sun and PepsiCo’s Frito Lay are just two of the examples of major brands deeply engaged in the upcycling of their pre-and post-consumer packaging waste through the Terracycle process. As for retailers, WalMart and Target are just as involved as Kraft and PepsiCo.

ADVERTISEMENT

The encouraging thing about how enthusiastic people have become about the Terracycle upcycling concept, said Szaky at the end of his presentation, is that when asked what their key motivation is, the answer isn’t money. It turns out, said Szaky, that people just flat out like the feeling that comes with knowing the product packaging they are responsible for is not going in a land fill. The genius of the Terracycle model is that it gives them a way to redirect their packaging waste away from the landfill.

Comments(0)

Add new comment

E-BOOK SPECIAL REPORT
42 Best Package Designs
Sign up to receive timely updates from our editors and download this e-book consisting of our editors' picks of most notable package designs. Updated for 2014!
x

Newsletters

Don't miss intelligence crucial to your job and business!
Click on any newsletter to view a sample. Enter your email address below to sign up!
GENERAL INTEREST
PACKAGE DESIGN/DEVELOPMENT
Each newsletter ranges in frequency from once per month to a few times per month at most.