If you caught our last blog post, it was all about Earthships - fully autonomous homes that are insulted and built out of trash. Which solves a bit of the problem of what to do with all this garbage. However, Earthships are labor intensive and hard to get permitting for. They are not the ideal solution.
If you’re paying attention, you know one of the biggest topics of discussion in our world today is climate change and the plastic problem. Plastic straws have been replaced with paper straws, however this is only a band-aid solution. What about the plastic cup and lid that we are putting our paper straw into? What about the packaging almost everything we buy comes in? The list of how we accumulate garbage goes on and on. What we need is for people to reduce and reuse. However, sometimes this isn’t convenient. And at the end of the day, it’s not only the individual that’s responsible. It is so much bigger than that. We need to hold the companies we are buying from responsible. Massive corporations have the power to create change, we as individual’s lack. One recycling company is taking on this initiative.
Everyone remembers stories of the milkman, yet most of us are too young to have actually had a milkman, however the concept is easy to understand! The milkman brings you new milk each day, and when you’re finished with the milk you put the bottles out for the milkman to collect and refill. Reduce, reuse! LOOP is a new company that is offering consumers a new way to shop; a way to shop that is based off the business model of a milkman. Think of it as a 21st century milkman! Loop is working with tons of popular corporations to store their product in reusable packaging. Tide, Pantene, Haagen-Daz and Crest are just a few of the companies that have signed up to be a part of this new experimental way to shop. When you are finished using the product, you just put the empty containers out on your doorstep in a specially designed Loop tote. A delivery service picks up the items, which are taken back to the warehouse, cleaned and sterilized, and shipped out again! The process then repeats itself.
“How it works”
Loop customers have to make an account and fill up a basket online. The prices for the items should be comparable to what they would be at a nearby store, Szaky said.
In addition to the regular cost of the item, customers must put down a fully refundable deposit for each package. The deposit varies from about 25 cents for a bottle of Coca-Cola to $47 for a Pampers diaper bin (which TerraCycle said eliminates the need for a Diaper Genie). Shipping becomes free after the customer buys about five to seven items, depending on the size and bulk of the products.
In the United States, the items arrive via UPS in a Loop tote bag. Frozen items, like ice cream, come in a cooler within the tote.
As customers go through products — use all the shampoo, eat all the ice cream — they fill up the totes with the empties. Unlike traditional recyclables, the packages don’t need to be washed. At the end of the cycle, a UPS driver picks up the tote. Customers can keep repeating the cycle or opt out and recover their deposit. Even banged up packages earn back the deposit — customers only lose that money if they fail to make a return.
When the packages are no longer suitable for use, TerraCycle recycles them.”
The team at TORRAIN is so excited to see how this all plays out. It would help stop so much accumulation of garbage that isn’t recycled. Once people get a feel for reusing containers, it could translate into other parts of their life and other companies could catch on. Positive thinking for a greener future!