A Trenton-based recycling company has received an award from the United Nations for creating a shampoo bottle that’s made with plastic waste collected from beaches and waterways.
TerraCycle chief executive officer Tom Szaky says 25 percent of the world’s plastic ends up in oceans, rivers, and lakes.
“We today in every continent around the world are running cleanups, collecting the material from those sources. And then we refine it, do some pretty high-end recycling science to it, and turn it into the Head & Shoulders bottle that is now 25 percent made from ocean plastic.”
Those shampoo bottles are being sold in France and will soon be available in other countries.
The company is also getting ready to launch another product, dish soap bottles made with recycled ocean plastic.
Szaky says the UN award shows that meaningful solutions can be found for daunting problems.
“Ocean plastic is a massive issue. Now this platform with Head & Shoulders and TerraCycle isn’t the solution, but it’s a step in the right direction. And hopefully what it does is create big awareness so that other companies, entrepreneurs, concerned citizens, all feel that they can do something about these environmental challenges.”
TerraCycle has relied on millionaire investors to help fund its expansion. Now Szaky says it’s awaiting approval from regulators to sell shares to people who don’t have a lot of cash to invest.
“We’re going to be selling a third of TerraCycle US for $25 million. And anyone can invest with now a minimum investment of $700. We just love than anyone out there can be a part of TerraCycle. It’s not just rich people who can be a part of it.”
Szaky says the TerraCycle will use the money to acquire other waste-management companies and develop new products.