Is sustainable business possible or just a load of garbage? TerraCycle is proving that it is not only possible but a competitive way to create value in lots of places. With a robust business model that pays organizations for their waste and turns organic waste into natural fertilizer products TerraCycle has a win win.
A robust and simple business model
1) get paid to collect organic waste from restaurants, food manufacturers, produce distributors, etc
2) pay organizations for their plastic beverage bottles
3) clean the bottles and take off the labels
4) fill the bottles with ‘compost tea’, a liquid nutrient from the composting of organic waste
5) put a new label on to the reused plastic bottle
TerraCycle has been extremely successful for their innovation in this space, a working example of how industrial ecology can be applied into robust business models, using waste from other companies as inputs into the products being manufactured. In this case they’ve not only integrated the use of organic waste from various commercial and industrial activities but also the reuse of plastic bottles and packaging from consumers.