How Sponsored Waste Creates Jobs and Builds Community

terracycle sewing photoTerracycle/Video screen capture

Despite having once famously complained that recycling is bullshit—nothing more than a sham to shift responsibility from producer to consumer—Lloyd was nevertheless impressed by Terracycle's sponsored waste upcycling programs which encourage companies to take responsibility for the waste stream created by their products.

terracycle kids collect juice cartons photoTerracycle/Video screen capture
We've following Terracycle pretty closely ever since, even inviting founder Tom Szaky to guest post from time-to-time on his unique take on recycling and waste. But usually the best way to understand a new concept is simply to see it in action. And this latest video (complete with German subtitles) from Terracycle is about as accessible an introduction as I can think of, explaining how Terracycle's partnership with juice maker Capri-Sonne diverts traditionally non-recyclable foil and plastic juice cartons from landfill and turns them into valuable consumer products.

terracycle shredding photoTerracycle/Video screen capture

From the relatively low energy footprint of creating fabrics out of existing materials, through the waste minimization, to the reconnection between producer and the waste they generate, there is plenty for your average TreeHugger to like here. But it's worth noting that the benefits go way beyond green—just think of all the schools and community organization earning much needed revenue; or the number of jobs being created in such a labor-intensive and resource efficient business model. Once again, we are reminded that the "green economy as elitism" meme is nothing but hot air coming from the old guard.

This is what the new economy will look like. And I like it.

How Sponsored Waste Creates Jobs and Builds Community
A video about Terracycle's "upcycling" of juice cartons demonstrates benefits that go far beyond green.

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