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Green initiatives go mainstream

After successfully diverting more than 45,000 pieces of used oral care products from landfill, the Colgate Community Recycle Drive is back. It’s part of a wave of ‘green’ initiatives hitting the market as retailers seek to tap into a strong consumer focus on eco-friendly shopping.

In the Colgate recycle drive, consumers are encouraged to save their used toothbrushes, floss containers and other oral care items before sending them to community-based collection points for recycling by US company TerraCycle.

“We’re working with TerraCycle to tackle oral care waste through the Oral Care Recycling Programme. The Community Recycle Drive engages local communities, and households around sustainability whilst raising funds for local projects,” said John Garside, general manager, Colgate New Zealand.

In today’s waste-sensitive consumer environment, Colgate aren’t the only ones rolling out green initiatives.

Late last year Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises began trialling an alternative to its usual meat polystyrene trays that weren’t recyclable.

The move came off the back of public pressure that was built from the seemingly callous use of polystyrene packaging for not only meat but fruit and vegetables too.

Plastic packaging giant, Glad, also partnered with TerraCycle to create Glad Food Storage Brigade. The programme aims to get New Zealanders to send their used Glad packaging back to the company so it can be recycled into other more usable and sustainable items.

The Government has also joined the fight against plastic waste after partnering with retailers and the packaging industry to help establish a system that would allow plastic packaging to be recycled.

Like Colgate, which is turning recycled oral products into park benches, Glad hopes to do the same as well as creating playground items in Australia.

These green initiatives are a strategic step for retailers who are finding themselves under increasing pressure from the waste-conscious public.

So, next time you’re down at the local community park, you may just be sitting on last year’s toothbrush.

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