Monday, May 25, 2009

Upcycling Juice Pouches

Normally, I am not a big consumer of juice pouches. They come in small containers that can't be recycled so I try to avoid them altogether. My kids, on the other hand, love them like all kids and can't resist whenever they are around.

We spent this weekend at our church's family camp on Whidbey Island (great weather, great fellowship, and great fun for all!) Juice pouches were readily available to keep the children hydrated while they gallavanted from the lake to the pickleball court to the BMX track to the archery course. I was happy to hear that some of the church members would be carting back all of the recyclables since Whidbey Island doesn't seem to have recycling pick-up (although I did see a number of drop-off stations on the island). I have never recycled juice pouches, but offered to bring those back since a parent from my sons' school had recently let me know that she is "upcycling" them through Terracycle. This company turns the pouches (and lots of other products) into backpacks, pencil bags, lunchboxes, etc.

Terracyle is an interesting company - they started as a couple of college kids who entered an entrepreneur contest and ended up with a business that used worms to recycle college dorm food waste into plant food. Without enough money for packaging they decided to reuse soda bottles. Today, the company is trying to drive what they call an eco-capitalism revolution. What if companies could make money while be socially and environmentally responsible?

What do you think? Is this a good way to get companies on the eco bandwagon - or are we just bowing to the companies and helping them advertise their not-so-eco-friendly products on our kids' backs? I don't think I'll be buying a Capri Sun backpack anytime soon, but I do like the idea of getting another use out of the materials.

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  1. There are healthy kids drinks out there that do come in easy-to-recycle aluminum cans! Now we just have to get them to a family/group friendly price!

  2. You are absolutely right - coming soon to a blog near you... The Alternatives to Pouches!