Instead of tossing that bag of Doritos in the trash, consider sending it back to Frito-Lay. It might just get turned into a tote bag.
Frito-Lay has announced that it's opening 1,000 collection sites in the U.S. for used snack product packaging. For every bag donated, the company will give two cents to your charity of choice. The packaging itself will be upcycled by Terracycle into pencil cases, tote bags, and purses that will be sold in chain retailers like Wal-Mart. Eventually, the bags could be used to make green building materials.
Terracycle and Frito Lay hope that their program will divert over five million bags from landfills by the end of 2009. It's an ambitious goal considering the difficulty that electronics companies have getting consumers to send back their products when rebates are offered. But Frito Lay is making the process as easy as possible, with shipping covered by the program. And unlike with electronics, Frito Lay and Terracycle could see heavy participation from school groups.
Terracycle has worked with a number of companies to upcycle their waste into new products. Most recently, Terracycle teamed up with Mars to turn waste packaging into cell phone holders, laptop sleeves, and messenger bags. The company even has its own reality show called "Garbage Moguls".
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