Industryweek 1292 16908balancepursesmall

Kraft Food to Recycle Used Packaging

July 24, 2008
Company joins with TerraCycle to turn waste into consumer products

Kraft Foods has partnered with TerraCycle, an upcycling company that takes packages and materials that are challenging to recycle and turns them into consumer products. This joint effort will help prevent a significant amount of packaging waste from going into landfills says TerraCycle.

Kraft will become the first major multi-category corporation to fund the collection of used packaging associated with its products. Several Kraft brands, including Balance bars and South Beach Living bars, Capri Sun beverages, and Chips Ahoy! and Oreo cookies, are now the lead sponsors of TerraCycle Brigades. These nationwide recycling programs make a donation for every piece of packaging a location collects.

"Sustainability is about looking out for future generations. Kraft is proud to partner with TerraCycle, an innovative company who has made it their mission to reduce the impact on landfills and to educate consumers on the importance of recycling," says Jeff Chahley, Senior Director, Sustainability, Kraft Foods. "TerraCycles model of rewarding 'brigade hosts' is a novel way of collecting packaging waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfills. Its so cool to see trash turned into merchandise thats unlike anything else on the market."

There are currently three TerraCycle programs for which Kraft is now the largest sponsor. To encourage more recycling, each program is free to individuals and organizations looking to participate and all shipping costs are paid. Once the used packaging items are collected, TerraCycle upcycles each material into an eco-friendly product.

The Energy Bar Wrapper Brigade collects used bar wrappers and braids them into colorful, durable purses and backpacks. The wrappers also can be fused, making the wrappers very dynamic for upcycling. The Cookie Wrapper Brigade collects used Nabisco cookie wrappers and uses a process to fuse the wrappers together into sheets of waterproof fabric, which then can be made into umbrellas, shower curtains, backpacks, placemats and other products. The Drink Pouch Brigade collects used drink pouches and donates to participating school or community group two cents for every pouch collected. The used pouches are then sewn into tote bags, handbags and other durable items that will be available as early as April 1st at several major retailers.

In 2001, Tom Szaky, a Princeton University Freshman, founded TerraCycle. After winning business plan contests, Tom dropped out of Princeton to pursue his dream . Seven years later, TerraCycles eco-friendly products have received a myriad of social and environmental accolades and are sold at major retailers like The Home Depot, Target, Wal-Mart and Whole Foods Markets.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!