May 22, 2014
The associate director of EPR advocacy group UpStream (formerly the Product Policy Institute) has written a fiery opinion article  for The Guardian that argues the recently announced Closed Loop Fund from Walmart and other corporate giants is "easy sustainability." UpStream's Matt Prindiville points out the initiative is one that does not actually cost the companies money (because it comes in the form of loans) and that the $100 million being offered up is almost insignificant in terms of what a true nationwide recycling makeover would cost.
With graduation season upon us, Michigan-based Greener Grads is intent  on recycling 1 million graduation gowns this year. Collection bins set up on college campuses throughout the country provide graduates with a quick and easy way to drop off their gowns, while a budding partnership with Goodwill Industries in the Grand Rapids area offers students a chance to buy lightly used gowns.
The recycled content of Novelis' aluminum products has reached  an all-time company high of 46 percent. With a goal of reaching 80 percent by 2020, Novelis' latest recycled content figures are up three percentage points in the last year, the company says.
Have produce that will stay fresh for another day or two but don't know how to make use of it? A new iPhone app known as Ratatouille  connects users within a 12 mile radius to exchange or give away perishables instead of tossing them in the trash or compost.
PepsiCo's Dream Machine Recycle Rally has crowned  Torres Elementary School of Victoria, Texas as the 2014 grand prize winner. Awarded $25,000 for their collective recycling efforts, students at Torres Elementary managed to heartily surpass weekly collection goals of 25 pounds of material, often bringing in hundreds of pounds of plastic bottles and other containers a week.
The U.S. EPA has recognized  Washington University in St. Louis as a recycling leader in higher education. The school has diverted 317 tons of organics since launching a composting program back in 2011 and was the first in the nation to ban the sale of bottled water – precluding almost 400,000 bottles from entering the waste stream each year.
To return to the Resource Recycling newsletter, click here