Man Came Up With Idea how to Recycle Plastic and 25 Global Brands Supported Him
Tom Szaky founded the first international platform for purchasing reusable products – the Loop Project. It was announced at the World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos (Switzerland).
He is the general director of the waste management company TerraCycle, the international leader in waste recycling. He even has written his own book ‘The Future of Packaging; From Linear to Circular’, where reflects about the environment, recycling and pollution.
According to some data, about 91% of plastic waste is not recycled. Plastic decomposes for centuries, disintegrates into microplastics, and pollutes soil and water with hazardous substances.
Tom is sure, that recycling is more important today than ever. But it doesn’t solve the problem of waste at the root. TerraCycle controls the collection of plastics from the ocean; recycle it for huge Unilever and Procter & Gamble corporations. But every day the ocean is clogging up more and more. It doesn’t matter, how much garbage is being caught, the problem couldn’t be solved in such a way.
So, the startup is aimed at solving this problem by implementing a system of packing reuse. It’s carried out within a broader global movement for a zero-waste future.
The main pattern for the project was a milk delivering system in the XX century. Milkman delivered reusable bottles and later picked them up to be refilled.
A well-thought-out scheme for purchases of goods with non-waste packaging will significantly increase the standards of responsible consumption throughout the world. The name “Loop” emphasizes that this system will become the practical embodiment of the theory of a “circular” or waste-free economy.
Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Danone, Mars Petcare, Mondelēz International and other large consumer and food companies in the world have already joined the Loop. They have teamed up and are working together to find a solution to reduce waste.
According to Procter & Gamble, the new packaging will be available for several brands of the company, including Pantene shampoos, Tide laundry products, and Gillette shaving products.
PepsiCo is ready to offer customers packaging for carbonated drinks and Tropicana juices. Nestle has developed a double-walled aluminum packaging for Haagen-Dazs ice cream, which keeps the cold much better than the current carton packs.
How does it work?
Customers should register on the Loop website or partner sites, complete the shopping cart online. Prices for goods are comparable to prices in stores.
In addition, customers will have to make a fully refundable deposit. It will be possible to withdraw from the Loop service at any time and return the deposit.
All products will be delivered to a customer in a special Loop bag. After using, customers will place empty containers in the bag. Company’s representative will take it; the packaging after using will be cleaned, refilled and delivered to customers.
Delivery will be free after a customer acquires from five to seven items of goods, depending on the size and volume.
So, the project guarantees customers a revolution in design – favorite products in durable, functional packaging. There will be no need for recycling because one package can be used many times.
In order to use the packaging as many times as possible, it is made from durable materials: stainless steel, aluminum, glass, and engineering plastic, which is stronger than disposable.
For example, a glass bottle can be used up to 100 times.
The project will start in May 2019 with only 5,000 customers. It will be launched in Paris and New York City as a test. London, Tokyo, San Francisco are further directions for expansion.
At the testing stage, the Loop should find out the durability of the bags-containers, the conditions products’ production, and the readiness of consumers for such innovations. Tom Szaky argues that the fate of the Loop will depend on the reaction of people.
If during the testing period everything is okay, more brands will be included. The organizers hope that the Loop will eventually be integrated into existing online stores, including Amazon.
And would you like to join this project?