TerraCycle to recycle diaper packaging

TerraCycleThe company that created a world-famous organic fertilizer from worm poop and has  “re-purposed” discarded product packaging is at it again.

TerraCycle created their Drink Brigade  program two years ago, Since then, they’ve taken product packaging waste like candy and cookie wrappers and used drink pouches that would have ended up in landfills and given them a second life as lunchboxes, binders and portable speakers. They recently partnered with Kraft Foods UK to turn Kenco brand product packaging into frames, book covers and satchels.

Huggies displayNow TerraCycle has expanded again, this time partnering with paper goods company Kimberly-Clark– maker of Huggies brand diapers – to turn that product’s plastic waste into something useful. TerraCycle will”upcycle”  the discarded plastic, creating new diaper bags. Keeping with their practice of creating products that appeal to the original target markets, the new product will be co-branded with the original and sold at major retailers like Walmart and Target next year.

TerraCycle collects nearly one million pieces of post-consumer packaging  per week, 95% of which is collected in the U.S., said company spokesman Albe Zakes . They also work with major manufacturers to collect between 500 and 3,000 tons of pre-consumer factory waste each year.

Way to go TerraCycle! So what’s next?

Self-adjusting glasses for the poor

New eye glasses will help bring improved sight to the world's poor

New eye glasses will help bring improved sight to the world's poor

Though a bit of a departure, there was a story that came across my email today I felt was important for the impact of the subject.

The poorest people all over the world can ill afford to purchase eye glasses to see well. Now British scientist Josh Silver – a professor of physics at Oxford University – has come up with a method of creating inexpensive glasses that wearers can self-adjust to their own prescription.

The novel solution entails combining durable plastic lenses with a pair of clear circular sacks filled with fluid. A small syringe connects each sack to either “arm” of the eyeglasses. Wearers adjust the syringe’s dial to increase or reduce the amount of fluid in the sack, which changes the power of the lens. Each lens is then sealed by twisting a small screw and removing the syringes.

Silver is working towards an ambitious goal: to offer glasses to a billion of the world’s poorest people by 2020. Already 30,000 of these new glasses have been distributed in 15 countries. Silver’s next goal is to launch a trial in India where they hope to distribute one million pairs of glasses.

New Eye Glasses.2Ultimately, Silver and his team plan to give 100 pairs every year to needy people across the world .

Silver, now retired, makes no profit from this venture. Though a huge undertaking, Silver’s reward is the reaction of people who can suddenly do everyday tasks with ease that before were almost impossible.

“People put them on, and smile,” says Major Kevin White, formerly of the US military’s humanitarian program, who organized the distribution of thousands of pairs around the world after discovering Silver’s glasses on Google.

They all say, ‘Look, I can read those tiny little letters.'”

For more on this amazing project, see http://3.ly/PUf.