Posts Tagged ‘recycle’

Recycling Program Backed by Coca-Cola

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

On January 28th, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and the Coca-Cola Foundation announced a call for applications for the 2013 Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program. Through a $300,000 grant from the Coca-Cola Foundation, the program is designed to expand and support recycling in American communities. 29,000 recycling bins have been distributed since 2010 under this program, reaching 4.3 million people. The end goal is to provide local organizations with recycling bins and increase recycling rates across the country. Grant applications can be found online through March 4, 2013. Eligible recipients include government agencies, civic organizations, schools, nonprofit groups and all colleges and universities will be eligible for a college specific grant.

A Creative Way to Reuse DVD Cases

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The cheapest and most beneficial way to be more sustainable and eco-friendly is by reusing products and their packaging for things other than their intended use. Just like the young couple that used jewel CD cases as simple picture frames, one 4th grade teacher writes in her blog about a simple way to reuse DVD cases. Not only did this purpose extend the life of a once wasted product, but it saved her a lot of money in her first year of teaching. This first year 4th grade teacher wanted to use individual dry-erase boards for activities in class, but couldn’t afford to purchase one for every student. That’s when her sister gave her the idea to reuse old DVD cases as white boards by turning the printed insert inside out. The clear overlay allows for any dry erase marker to be easily wiped away. The teacher asked all of her students to each bring in an old DVD case which, let’s be honest, we all have a DVD case we don’t use anymore. Each student was able to choose their favorite colored construction paper insert to make the board more colorful and fun. The end result; a cheap (practically free) dry erase board for each of her students, and since they were DVD cases, the students were able to store whatever papers or extra inserts they needed for class activities.


read more of this teacher’s blog

Herman Miller Awarded for Sustainable Solutions

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

At PACK EXPO in Chicago, Herman Miller was announced the first winner of the Excellence in Reusable Packaging Award. They won this award with their use of reusable packaging for their shipping and handling of a component of a chair for and assembly line. This adaptation saved the company $46,000 annually in material and labor. Herman Miller has been utilizing sustainable packaging solutions within the company for over 20 years and is actively exploring these eco-friendly alternatives that saves them money and more importantly, the environment. The part was being shipped into Herman Miller Greenhouse in corrugated boxes that would be re-used several times before being recycled.




By switching to the reusable solution, the company has gained the following measurable outcomes:
• Saved 63 minutes per day in handling of the parts; this equates yearly to 266 hours
• Using 4,300 fewer boxes saving 24,645 pounds of corrugated per year
• Achieved a combined material and labor saving of $46,000
• Eliminated the need for two warehouse skid locations
• Eliminated movement of heavy boxes from skid to roller conveyor by a material handler, and eliminated need to cut them open with a knife
• Eliminated handling of boxes by part supplier

Re-use and Recycle – DIY Garden Cloche

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

It’s that time again for another do it yourself project. It seems like the simple DIY projects we can do with our old CD cases is endless! Once again, we will be dusting off our old jewel CD cases to re-use and recycle to create a garden cloche.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term cloche, it refers to a glass or transparent plastic cover that is placed over young plants to protect them during cold weather. Using your old CD cases allows you to re-use and recycle for a cheap solution to use as a garden tool.

A cloche acts like a mini greenhouse by offering climate control to help get new seedlings off to a good start. With a garden cloche made from recycled CD cases, the warm sun rays will shine through the open top of the cloche and the clear sides will warm the surrounding soil. And when you want to protect the fragile, young plants from frost, you just need to simply shut the lid.

For more DIY projects you can do by using your old CD cases check out our past posts:

DIY – Photo Frame Carousel

Upcycling: Turning Old CD Cases into a Photo Cube

ALL Plastic Packaging to be Recycled by 2020?

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

The European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery Organization (EPRO) has recently backed claims of the possibility that ALL plastic packaging could be recycled by 2020. That means no more plastic in landfills which is an incredibly ambitious hope. The number of plastic that ends up in landfills across the globe each day is astronomical.

Right now in Europe, approximately 66% of plastic packaging is recycled with one-third of plastic packaging still going to landfill.

EPRO said in a statement: “A recovery rate of 100 per cent in 2020 for both plastic packaging and all other plastic waste is still possible; it is all about willingness and working together across the plastics supply chain to set the scene and move the agenda forward.”

Could this initiative also help the economy? “A strategy of 100% recovery of plastic waste might also contribute to an economic recovery of Europe and thus more jobs.”

In EPRO’s report, the following 16 nations recycled more than 30% of its plastic packaging waste in 2010: Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Belgium, Austria, Norway, Netherlands, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia, Slovenia, Poland, UK and Lithuania.

At the other end of the list, countries recycling less than 22.5 per cent of their post-consumer plastic packaging were: Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Greece and Malta.

Paper Packaging Market Will Reach $236 Billion in 2011

Monday, November 28th, 2011

With a global recession negatively affecting many industries there are some industries experiencing phenomenal growth. One example is the paper packaging market which according to recent research, is expected to hit $236 billion dollars globally before the end of 2011. Further, in emerging markets such as China, Brazil, and India, the growth is expected to persist. The consumer demand in North America and Europe is also on the rise.

So why the growth in this market? Various factors such as the ability to recycle, convenience, and cost-effectiveness can be attributed. The main advantage the paper packaging industry has through is its environmentally friendliness. Combined with quality, paper packaging is a viable packaging option in our modern world that is concerned about sustainability. As technologies and innovations continue to evolve, the paper packaging market only gets stronger providing manufacturers with more customized solutions.

This report comes as no surprise to anyone who has observed packaging in a retail setting over the past handful of years. Paper packaging is replacing many types of plastics packaging. Consumer behavior is changing, demanding less packaging that is recyclable and marketers and packaging manufacturers are capitalizing on the opportunities.

Tips for a Green Halloween

Monday, October 24th, 2011

It’s only one week away. How about some tips to go green this Halloween?

1. Use the WHOLE pumpkin: Don’t just carve it and throw it in the trash November 1st. Use the pumpkin seeds and the carved out pieces for food. Pumpkin seed recipes are all over the web and make for a delicious snack. Puree the pieces of pumpkin you carved out for recipes that call for fresh pumpkin. And if you have a backyard compost pile, throw the rest of the pumpkin in there after Halloween.

2. Skip the expensive costumes: Save some cash by avoiding those expensive plastic costumes in the retail store. Make costumes made of reusable or recycled materials. Check out Green Halloween for ideas.

3. Use recyclable bags for trick-or-treating: Avoid using the orange plastic Jack-O-Lanterns that are used for a couple hours and discarded in the trash. This will also save you money too! Reuse plastic bags or even better, how about those cloth bags you have lying around? They’re strong and can hold more candy than you can dream of your kids bringing home for you.

4. DIY Decorations: DIY means Do It Yourself!. Making your own decorations is fun and expands your creativity. Give a little character to your decorations this year. It’s also a fun activity to do with the kids. Great Dad has some great ways to decorate DIY for Halloween.


Upcycled Birdhouses Turn Junk Into Art

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

A few months back, we blogged about the concept of upcycling. In short, upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or products that cannot be recycled into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. In fact, just last week we covered a story about Method and their upcycled plastic packaging made ocean waste. Though people have been upcycling things for years, the term wasn’t officially coined until recently. Now it seems it’s becoming quite popular in our eco-conscious world.

The folks at, for example, are beginning to make quite a name for themselves by making upcycled birdhouses. The birdhouses are pieces of art made from items collected at flea markets, thrift stores, antique stores, etc. The designs are made from a random list of items including old license plates, trophies, oil cans, scrap metal, and metal space heaters. The birdhouses are really colorful and unique and available for purchase on their website.

Method Unveils Packaging Made From Upcycled Ocean Plastic

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Method has unveiled its latest innovation in sustainable packaging- a bottle that is made out of plastic collected from the North Pacific Gyre, also referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The bottle contains 100% post-consumer polyethylene, 25% of which is plastic collected from the Gyre. Method has partnered with Envision Plastics who is one of the largest recyclers in the US making it possible to make this Ocean PCR that is the same quality as virgin HDPE plastic.

The process starts will collecting and cleaning the plastic removing unwanted contaminants where it is then blended and remanufactured into high quality plastic. The beauty is that the upcycled ocean plastic can be recycled again and again. Method’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness that the real solution to plastic pollution lies in reusing and recycling the plastic that’s already on the planet. Method also aims to prove that green business can grow the US economy and create jobs.

Method made its first bottle entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic in 2006. Since then they’ve been known as a leading innovator in premium eco-friendly household and personal care products by developing plastic packaging that is completely free from virgin plastics. Method products can be found in over 35,000 retail locations.

A Bike Make Entirely From Recycled Plastic

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The Frii is a bike made exclusively out of recycled plastic. This snap together sensation is both lightweight and durable- a true innovation for green design. Mastermind Israeli designer Dror Peleg came up with the concept and design for this recycled 1-speed bike that’s intended for quick trips through the city streets.

Production of the Frii entails using recycled plastic that is melted and injection molded to form each unique part of the bike. The body of the bike is the largest component where at the bottom sits a pedal crank that runs a belt to the rear wheel hub instead of a chain. There are no external brakes- just a BMX style brake system where peddling backwards causes the bike to stop.

Forks to the 20-inch plastic wheels are kept short for added strength. Solid tires are injected over the rims during the manufacturing process. The seat does look uncomfortable but the Frii is not for long, smooth rides. And of course, the colors and modular design are electrifying.