TerraCycle and 8 Consumer Product Companies Settle Lawsuit Based on “Unlawful and Deceptive Recycling Claims”

Companies Agree to Change Product Labels, TerraCycle Will Also Implement a Supply Chain Certification Program

A settlement has been reached on the lawsuit that The Last Beach Cleanup filed in March 2021 against TerraCycle and eight consumer product companies based on “unlawful and deceptive recycling claims.” The Last Beach Cleanup announced the Settlement Agreement today, “America Recycles Day,” to highlight the need for truth and transparency by product companies on recycling claims and labels, saying that instead of participating in harmful misleading charades, companies should redesign their products to be reusable or truly recyclable or compostable through existing curbside programs and local processing.

As part of the settlement, TerraCycle and these eight companies (Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Late July Snacks, Gerber, L’Oreal, Tom’s of Maine, Clorox, and Materne) have agreed to change their product labels, and TerraCycle has also agreed to implement a supply chain certification program.

“Today is ‘America Recycles Day,’ and it’s traditionally a day for corporations to greenwash Americans about bad choices in plastic packaging. But we’re turning the tables today by announcing the settlement of a lawsuit against Terracycle and eight product companies, in which we’re calling for truth and transparency in labels and claims and demanding that companies get real about their packaging and shift to reusables—or if that’s not possible, then truly recyclable and compostable solutions that can be handled in local areas.”

– Jan Dell, Founder of The Last Beach Cleanup

The full press release is available here.


The Future is Now: PSI CEO Joins TerraCycle® CEO to Present A Crash Course In Designing for the Circular Economy

Scott Cassel and Tom Szaky team up with innovators in sustainability on new book The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular

BOSTON, Mass. — Scott Cassel, the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder, joined forces with Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of groundbreaking waste solutions company TerraCycle, on the mission to eliminate waste. Available nationwide today, Szaky’s fourth book The Future of Packaging: From Linear to Circular (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2019) offers a roadmap out of the modern waste crisis through packaging design.

More than 50 million tons of packaging and paper products are disposed of in the U.S. each year, representing a missed opportunity to recover valuable resources. For over a decade, PSI has sought circular solutions by bringing stakeholders together to advance product stewardship for packaging, with a focus on producer responsibility. Cassel’s chapter in The Future of Packaging dives deeper into the rationale behind this approach and the benefits to be gained from holding brand owners responsible for reducing the impacts of their packaging choices.

“By sharing diverse perspectives from governments, brand owners, and waste management firms, this book powerfully transforms the issues we’ve avoided into ones we are motivated to tackle head-on,” says Scott Cassel. “My chapter calls for a paradigm shift in producer responsibility, placing waste and materials management in the hands of the producer as an asset, not a burden.”

Designed to be a primer on packaging design for the circular economy, The Future of Packaging integrates perspectives from Szaky and 15 innovators in sustainability -including government leaders, corporate risk takers and international waste management experts – to create a guide that can help everyone from a small startup to a large corporation move towards a future of innovation and growth with less waste.

“Acknowledging the tall order of changing course away from climate catastrophe means addressing it from several angles,” says author Tom Szaky. “I have had the privilege to co-author this book with the best minds in the global packaging movement-folks who have been championing this new frame of thinking for decades. Together, they provide the tools for anyone, consumer to corporation, interested in innovating upwards out of this mess and into abundance.”

Called “a crash course for designing for the circular economy” by Unilever CEO Paul Polman, The Future of Packaging contextualizes the historical and economic factors that spurred modern society’s “business as usual” preoccupation with disposability, explains the current state of manufacturing, recycling, and resource management, and inspires critical thinking about the true function of our packaging.

Topics include the evolution of plastic and recommendations and “watch-outs” for producing and consuming in the circular economy. For instance, biodegradable and bio-based plastics may not be as “green” or sustainable as marketed, black plastics are typically non-recyclable, and though lighter in weight, packaging such as pouches and cartons also take a toll on the planet. This book will empower champions for change and a more sustainable future.

To learn more about PSI’s work to advance producer responsibility for packaging and paper products, please visit www.productstewardship.us/Packaging.

To learn more about TerraCycle and its mission to Eliminate the Idea of Waste, please visit www.terracycle.com.

PSI and Terracycle are Plastic Pollution Coalition members.

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