What is TerraCycle?
TerraCycle may just be the coolest little start-up in America. Founder and CEO Tom Szaky at 19 years old during his freshman year at Princeton University launched the company with a classmate, Jon Beyer. They had an idea to build a business selling garbage. TerraCycle is a social enterprise on a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. They offer a range of national, easy-to-use recycling platforms allowing everyone to #RecycleEverything. They also invented Loop, a sustainable shopping experience moving the world away from single-use packaging.
What is Loop?
A huge innovation from the minds at TerraCycle and a massive joint effort by a coalition of large companies – including other manufacturers, as well as retailer Carrefour, courier UPS and resource management company SUEZ. All partners have the same goal: to develop supply chains that are more ‘circular’ from design through to consumer use.
Loop offers all your favourite household products from brands such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Nestle, Mars, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo, etc, in beautifully designed containers (all brands redesigned their packaging to participate in a pilot program), that can be refilled again and again, changing the way the world shops. Customers have household products delivered in reusable containers that are then collected, cleaned, refilled and reused or recycled in a 21st Century Milkman service of hundreds of everyday items. Imagine your orange juice, mayonnaise, hand soap, deodorant and detergent delivered right to your door – and when you’re done, they’ll pick up your empties and ship new items – a closed cycle LOOP.
The Loop program launched in Paris on May 14 and in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania on May 21st 2019. In those states, customers will order and buy a product online through the Loop Store and pay a deposit for the container, usually between 25 cents and $10. The goods get shipped in a reusable tote bag. When the containers are empty, UPS picks them up in their original shipping tote. (Unlike with regular recycling, there’s no cleaning necessary on the consumer’s end.) The containers go to a plant where they’re cleaned, sterilized, and refilled, using cutting-edge technology and the whole process begins again. Eventually, consumers will be able to buy Loop products in store and return empty containers to the store.
Loop fundamentally changes the way we approach packaging and waste. The transition to a circular economy will take time, but big ideas like this can and will help change the world our children will inherit.Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky
This complete system redesign requires being able to win the trust and buy-in of major brands and retailers and with parent company TerraCycle’s experience in the recycling industry, Loop is uniquely placed to make it work.
“It has the same convenience of disposability,” Szaky says. “This is how we move packaging and products from being disposable and owned by the consumer to being durable and borrowed by the consumer. Packaging becomes a service.”
“Yes, you want your company to be profitable so you know it has a future. But I think the purpose of a business is what it does–what service it provides, what product it makes, how it helps people, society, planet. I wanted to create a business that puts those things first.” – Tom Szaky
On the 29th October 2019 Sky announced they were investing $2million in Loop. This investment comes ahead of Loop’s UK launch in early 2020.
When we set out to raise investment capital for Loop, we had no expectation of finding a fund associated with a major media company that shares our dedication to eliminating plastic waste.Tom Szaky, Chief Executive Officer, TerraCycle and Loop
Sky’s industry knowledge and daily access to a vast customer network will help bring attention to Loop and the opportunities to shift to durable products and packaging
Sky’s impact investment fund, Sky Ocean Ventures, has committed $2million – its largest investment to date – in zero-waste shopping service, Loop. Sky Ocean Ventures is part of Sky’s Bigger Picture initiative and is the solutions arm of the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign, which shines a spotlight on the issues that affect ocean health and inspires behaviour change.
Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky, said: “Loop is such an innovative new way to shop that is designed to transform the world’s reliance on single-use plastic by closing the loop on waste and creating a circular economy. Set to launch in the UK with Tesco in 2020. Some of the world’s largest companies including P&G, Nestlé, The Body Shop and Unilever are signed up, with their products already available through Loop in the US and France. This means customers can have Häagen-Dazs ice cream delivered in a reusable steel container, alongside a bottle of Pantene shampoo made of durable aluminium.”
Tom Szaky, Chief Executive Officer, TerraCycle and Loop, said: “When we set out to raise investment capital for Loop, we had no expectation of finding a fund associated with a major media company that shares our dedication to eliminating plastic waste.
“Sky’s industry knowledge and daily access to a vast customer network will help bring attention to Loop and the opportunities to shift to durable products and packaging.”
TerraCycle’s Loop will become Sky Ocean Ventures’ 17th investment as the £25million fund continues to accelerate young companies who are addressing the plastics crisis. Launched in 2018, the media-powered investment fund was set-up as part of Sky’s commitment to help create a better and plastic-free future for our oceans, recognising that business can help tackle the big issues in the world we live in.
Sky is transforming its own business and will have eliminated all single-use plastics from its business, products and operations by the end of 2020.
LOOP is a win-win for consumers and businesses. And of course, for the planet.