Trenton-Based ‘TerraCycle’ Lauded as US Leader in Recycled Products & Services

Small businesses in Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey that promote recycled products and services were announced as the winners of Green America’s quarterly “People & Planet Award.” The Award recognizes innovative U.S. small businesses that integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations.

The winners of the $5,000 prizes are: Mr. Ellie Pooh of Millersburg, PA; RocknSocks of San Rafael, CA; and TerraCycle of Trenton, NJ. The three winners were selected by the public during a month-long online voting period.

Alisa Gravitz, president of Green America, said: “Recycling is central to the notion of more sustainable living and the three companies we are recognizing today are innovators in this important field. All of the companies are finding new ways to expand the definition of recycling to include materials that are often ignored in conventional recycling programs. Our goal with the People & Planet Award is to recognize and highlight the people who are out there pushing the boundaries to make this a greener planet.”

The winning companies are:

* TerraCycle, Trenton, NJ. TerraCycle’s mission is to “eliminate the idea of waste.” We run free consumer recycling programs, called Brigades, for waste streams that are typically considered non-recyclable. From drink pouches, toothbrushes and makeup containers to coffee capsules and even cigarette butts, our recycling programs give new life to waste that would otherwise be destined for the landfill.

Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle said:  “TerraCycle is thrilled to win the Green America People & Planet Green Business Award. Green America is a widely respected organization and we are proud to accept such a respected third-party validation of our work. The prize money will be utilized to help expand our free recycling fundraisers for schools and communities around the country.”

* Mr. Ellie Pooh, Millersburg, PA. Mr. Ellie Pooh is an Earth-friendly company that sells and produces 100-percent recycled paper products made of 50-percent fiber from elephant dung and 50-percent post-consumer paper. In Sri Lanka, elephants are being killed as they compete with farmers for land. Mr. Ellie Pooh believes that putting sustainable fair trade jobs in areas of human/elephant conflict can create an environment where elephants are thought of as assets and not as a threat.

* RocknSocks, San Rafael, CA. RocknSocks is the first and only U.S. made sock company to use pre-consumer regenerated cotton blend yarns exclusively in the manufacture of our dynamic eco-friendly sock line. Cotton scraps are taken from other textile manufacturing waste, sorted by color, ground up and spun into yarns allowing us to avoid using dyes in our cotton blend yarns. Winning the award will help RocknSocks recycle damaged, returned and sample socks to create a line of sock “creatures”. Our sock creature line will be a non-profit both giving away creatures and/or profits to children and families in need.

Karl Wald, owner of Mr. Ellie Pooh said: “We are thrilled to win this prestigious award. Every penny of this award will go back to supporting our Fair Trade initiatives and promoting education about human/elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. Elephants have been in the news a lot lately. They are noble creatures and deserve this attention.”

Misty Reilly, founder of RocknSocks said: “RocknSocks is deeply honored to be chosen as a recipient of the $5000 prize. We plan on initiating an up-cycling project, by taking singles, returns, and damaged RocknSocks and turning them into sock creatures, like monkeys, bunnies, bears, and dragons. We then plan on donating the profits from the sales of these creatures to local non-profits that service low-income communities. In addition we will donate some of the creatures themselves to children in these communities.”

The next round of Green America’s quarterly award will be given to three green small businesses that focus on vegan products.

The businesses that the public vote on are determined by public nominations and an expert panel of judges: Katie Galloway and Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Tess O’Brien, Clean Power Perks; Deven Clemens, Clif Bar; Jenny Burns, Honest Tea;  Jonathan Reinbold, Organic Valley; Martin Wolf, Seventh Generation; and Andrew Korfhage and Fran Teplitz, both of Green America.

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