Waste Advantage Magazine

Non-recyclable but not ready for a landfill

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Courtesy of Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

They say recycling is dead. In the current model with the economy as it is, I’d be inclined to agree. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When we as companies start focusing on how we can collaboratively increase our efficiency, decrease our workloads and create smarter customers, we all win. That’s what an upcycling-focused products company does—choosing a different route than your standard issue, niche-focused, boutique priced green company. An upcycling company partners with major brands, most not specifically in the green space, to collect their product packaging, via brigades— individuals, community groups, schools, businesses and more, that earn 2 cents per item, donated to organizations of their choice.

When people have a personal relation with waste and see the direct benefit of their actions, for their school, their favorite charitable organization, etc., this has a powerful impact.

In another turn off of the typical green company road, due to low cost of source material, products are priced at equal to, if not less, than conventionally sourced products. The conventional wisdom that one should start at small, independent stores then build your way to bigger places is just plain wrong, in most cases. It limits the potential impact a company can have. Upcycing companies carry products at the largest number of stores, right from the start.

It’s when you get mainstream consumers seeing making more sustainable purchase choices as an easy, doable, and affordable thing that the real, widespread results have a chance to occur.

Creating Awareness
To do that, in the most explicit, unmissable fashion possible, teaming up with a major retailer is the way to go, especially one such as Walmart, in order to be featured in their HotSpot section—where its seasonal displays are. During Earth Month, one can find upcycled products co-displayed next to the original products whose packaging people in collection brigades collect to source products.

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