Margarine tubs to replace plant pots at Raley’s

By From page A7 | September 9, 2011

This fall, shoppers in Raley’s floral departments will see something other than the traditional black pots in which flowers are traditionally sold.

Clearwater Nursery and TerraCycle will offer annuals in “upcycled” margarine tubs in all Raley’s, Nob Hill and Bel Air stores, including Woodland locations. The upcycled pots are a more eco-friendly option as they eliminate the need to use virgin plastic. The plants were shipped to stores in late August.

TerraCycle collected the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Brummel & Brown, Shedd’s Spread Country Crock and Imperial tubs through its consumer collection program, a news release said. These items will be upcycled into affordable, eco-friendly products. When consumers are done with the Clearwater Planting tubs, they can send them back to New Jersey-based TerraCycle to be upcycled again through the Spreads Brigade.

“People have heard the well-known message of the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle,” said Steven Medeiros, Clearwater Nursery marketing executive, in the news release. “Clearwater Nursery is pleased to introduce to the floral industry the next level of environmental awareness … Upcycle. By raising awareness as to how we deal with this waste stream, along with communicating with our consumers through an educational platform, we hope to engage and inspire participants toward improving their local communities and our planet.”

“We started (in 2001) as the first organic fertilizer company to package worm poop in a used soda bottle,” said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. “Partnering with Clearwater Nursery to offer upcycled planting pots for retail sales brings our business full circle.”

TerraCycle’s collection programs, called Brigades, divert packaging waste from landfills and help raise consumer awareness about reducing, reusing and recycling. The company collects previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle items and turns them into new products such as recycled park benches or upcycled backpacks.

Consumers can send in items ranging from Solo plastic cups to old flip-flops, chip bags, candy wrappers, juice pouches, pens, toothbrushes, Scotch tape dispensers, Neosporin tubes and more. Participation is free and all shipping costs are paid. To sign up, go online to www.terracycle.net/brigades.

With support from its partners, such as Unilever, TerraCycle pays all postage and awards two points per unit of packaging, which can be put toward charity gifts or converted to money for a charity of the collector’s choice.

Grocery retailers or floral department managers who are interested in the margarine tub program for their stores may contact Clearwater Nursery at www.clearwaternursery.com.

Clearwater Nursery Inc. is a major provider of blooming potted plants in the U.S., operating more than 1 million square feet of controlled-climate greenhouses on 80 acres of land on the central coast of California over the past 25 years. Annually, Clearwater Nursery ships millions of potted plants throughout the country, with longstanding relationships at major grocery store chains and many smaller regional chains.

In the past two years Clearwater Nursery has led the industry in sustainability with its trademarked program “Earth Friendly Solutions.” This unique line includes biodegradable pots; packaging material approved by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative; bio-based compostable packaging and care tags.

Special to The Enterprise

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