Trenton, New Jersey-based startup firm TerraCycle is upcycling used food wrappers, drink pouches, empty yogurt containers, corks and soda bottles into pencil cases, umbrellas, pouches, bags, garbage cans and shower curtains.
According to this article from Wall Street Journal, the company has signed deals or in talks with corporation such as Kraft Foods, Kellogg and Coca-Cola to collect some of their packaging waste into these products and sell them to retailers such as Target, Walgreen and potentially in the future, Wal-Mart and Home Depot.
Using sponsorships from various food manufacturers, TerraCycle also set up thousands of trash-collecting brigades where they will be paid a couple of cents per wrapper or pouches. TerraCycle covers the cost of collection and sends the trash to its factories in Mexico to upcycle them into new retail products.
“We’re able to retail at the store for the same price as a normal Hanna Montana backpack except ours is made from garbage collected by American kids and each pouch represents a little donation.”