Upcycling

Posted by Dan on Aug 21st, 2009
2009
Aug 21

CapriSunBag I was reading Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle is Redefining Green Business.  Here’s how it works: Kraft Foods makes Capri Sun, many varieties of “juice drinks”, “flavored water beverages”, and  “100% juice”.  Things that can’t legally be advertised as “fruit juice” because they aren’t, but which can be advertised as “wholesome”, because, well, just because.  Kraft markets Capri Sun to kids, who pester their parents into buying the drinks.

The drink pouches are mixed plastic and metal foil, so they can’t be recycled as either plastic or metal.  Billions of these pouches end up in landfills every year.

TerraCycle organizes the kids into “drink pouch brigades” (I am not making this up).   and donates 2 cents to charity for each pouch sent in.  TerraCycle then remanufactures the pouches into things like pencil cases and messenger bags.  In other words, consumer products that can be marketed to kids!

Every year BILLIONS of drink pouches end up in dumpsters and landfills across America. TerraCycle, Capri Sun and Honest Kids are working together to put an end to this awful loss of resources. As an eco-friendly innovator, TerraCycle converts the used drink pouches into unique fashion bags, tote bags, pencil cases, and other items for kids and adults! TerraCycle is proud to team up with the largest producer of drink pouches in the country, Capri Sun, and a young organic entry into the market, Honest Kids, to help address this problem! Together with your help we CAN make a difference!

Meanwhile, there are at least two blindingly obvious design solutions to the landfill problem.  One is that Kraft, perhaps out of a sense of civic responsibility, could make recyclable or biodegradable containers.  OK, maybe that’s too preposterous, but there’s an even simpler solution: parents could buy half-gallon cartons of actual fruit juice and pour it into reusable, lunch-sized bottles.  Sure, it’s a lot of work, but, ounce for ounce, actual fruit juice in half-gallon cartons  is about half the price of individual servings of flavored water beverage.