Spring into the Growing Season

With Earth Day and Spring finally here, many of us are scurrying to get our gardens ready for planting.

If you’re looking for chemical-free organic products, Growers Secret has what you need.

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Starbuck’s continuing search for “the” recyclable coffee cup

Starbucks is on a quest to find the perfect recyclable coffee cup

For those of you who are new(ish) to this blog, two years ago I wrote about a pilot program that Starbucks embarked on in New York City to recycle their coffee cups.  Last year, their shareholders nixed the opportunity to increase their recycling throughout all their stores nationwide.

The Seattle-based company has continued its efforts, however, to find the perfect recyclable coffee cup. But so far it’s proved to be an elusive treasure.

With a goal of introducing this innovation in 2015, the stumbling block remains the cups´ polyethylene liner. considered a contaminant by the waste industry in the paper recycling process.

Starbucks has initiated pilot projects to give their used coffee cups a second life

Starbucks isn’t alone in their quest. At their recently convened Coffee Summit at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),  a number of their competitors including McDonald’s were present, along with Action Carting Environmental Services Inc., the solid waste management company involved in Starbuck’s New York pilot recycling program.

“What is the silver bullet,” said Jim Hanna, Starbucks Director of Environmental Impact. ” What is the perfect material out there that we can make this cup out of that will make this cup recyclable?”

Not surprisingly, Starbucks quickly discovered that there is no quick, easy solution. So the coffee purveyor initiated a number of pilot programs as part of their quest to give used coffee cups a useful second life.

It’s a worthy goal. If the solution is found and its cost is within reach, this would mean the diversion of hundreds of tons of used coffee cups from landfills. As Americans continue their love affair with coffee – whether it’s driving out of their garage to go across town or walking down to the corner to get their caffeine “fix” – finding a real workable solution to this issue would make a real difference.

Retailers partner with TerraCycle to honor Earth Day with unique recycling programs

As the recycling trend grows, the need by manufacturers for recycled materials has grown exponentially. Sadly, a large percentage of difficult to recycle material winds up in our nation’s landfills, often due to little infrastructure or incentive by waste management companies to accept it.

New Jersey-based TerraCycle specializes in collecting and upcycling what’s often considered non-recyclable packaging and products, then turning it into useful, affordable, eco-friendly products.

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Confusion reigns in regards to recycling resin codes

The public, government and waste management officials are all confused about these recycling codes

There’s a whole lot of confusion out there when it comes to being able to understand those numbers for the different types of plastic and what can and can’t be recycled.

If you think consumers are the only ones sitting in the swirl of confusion, you’re not.

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