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New product from old packaging

TerraCycle is churning out new products and new product ideas at an incredible rate. Following is a sampling of some of its new products and initiatives in 2007:

• Rolling out with a Seed Starter in a 36-cell molded pulp tray that’s biodegradable.
“You can cut the cell out of a TerraCycle seed tray and plant it right in the ground,” says Zakes. Each cell is prefilled with worm poop—solid, not liquid. TerraCycle’s Robin Tator says the company adds a spray coating of beeswax into the cells to provide enough of a moisture barrier before breaking down. A label and shrink film complete the package.
• Garden Fertilizer twin-packs of two 20-oz bottles retail for $11.97.

• Potting Mix in reused 1-gal HDPE milk jugs retails for $4.99.
The company also has a number of products in development, including Plant Spikes packaged in 2-L containers that are cut in half. The spikes are topped with reused bottle caps that act as a cushion when the spikes are hammered into the ground. The company is also debuting new initiatives this fall in parallel to its well-established Bottle Brigade and is soliciting organizations to join at its Web site.

Drink Pouch Brigade: Collects and reuses foil-laminate drink pouches such as those from program partner Honest Tea, Capri Sun, and others.

“Basically, we are donating money to schools that collect pouches for us,” says Zakes. “The pouches will be received, cleaned, cut, and sewn into bags of various types. We’re thinking computer bags, as well as some fashionable bags, and also a market bag to help replace plastic bag usage at the supermarket. It’s just up and running now, but we’re challenging America’s schools to help us recycle a million pouches in the next 12 months.” It is paying 1¢ cent per pouch.

Yogurt Cup Brigade: This program was launched in fall 2007 in partnership with Stonyfield Farm to collect used 6- and 32-oz yogurt cups that will be cleaned and reused as planting pots.

TerraCycle donates 2¢ or 5¢ per container, respectively. Those intended for retail sale will be hand-painted by urban artists to turn them into “YoPots!”

Unpainted cups will go to growers to replace black plastic planting pots, millions of which are discarded by consumers yearly, according to TerraCycle. 

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