Thursday, March 13, 2008

Recycle, Upcycle or No-cycle

Found this link from the good folks at Terracycle, bottlers of the finest worm tea that money can buy:

They have partnered with Clif Bar, Stonyfield Farms, Capri Sun, and Honest Kids to start a pilot grassroots recycling program for energy bar wrappers, yogurt cups, juice drink pouches, and plastic bottles. Each type of material is allocated so many spots for people to sign up to be delivered recycling boxes. (I tried to get in on the energy bar program, since I eat about 300 Clif Bars a year, but they had already filled their 500 member quota by the time I got there. Waiting list here I come.) As incentive, each item submitted for recycling earns .02 to .06 cents for the non-profit organization of your choice. I may track down someone on the list and offer up my collected wrappers, just to get them out of the house. The collected energy bar and juice pouch recyclables are actually "upcycled" into (fashionable?) bags, the yogurt cups are turned into small planter cups, and the 20oz plastic bottles are used by Terracycle to package their worm tea for sale. In fact, while they claim the program as "recycling" and keeping the waste out of landfills, it's actually only delaying the disposal. (Eventually that "graffiti painted flower pot" will have to be disposed of. And they also don't mention anything about what they do with the cups they receive that cannot be used. Direct to landfill then?) A good effort, but this program seems like it's merely something that they can trot out to children to make think recycling is a better idea than conservation.

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