Recycle PPE Waste

Subaru of America, Inc., recently announced a new recycling initiative to recycle personal protective equipment (PPE) waste in response to the increase in waste due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new initiative is an expansion of the automaker's existing recycling collection partnership with TerraCycle®, the world's leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams. The new collection efforts divert improperly discarded PPE from landfills and incinerators. Subaru will employ TerraCycle's Zero Waste Boxes™ to collect disposable masks and gloves across more than 20 offices nationwide, including ports, regional training centers and the automaker's headquarters in Camden, NJ.

"At Subaru, our commitment to maintaining a safe work environment is as strong as our dedication to protecting and preserving our environment by keeping it clean," said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. "This expansion of our years-long work with TerraCycle allows us to responsibly wear PPE while furthering the Subaru Love Promise commitment to reduce landfill trash and engage in smart environmental practices, simply because it is the right thing to do."

Zero Waste Boxes provide a convenient recycling solution for all types of single-use PPE, which are not recyclable through conventional recycling facilities. By placing Zero Waste Boxes in offices around the country, Subaru employees can responsibly dispose of their protective gear instead of tossing items on the ground.

To properly collect and recycle PPE waste, each participating Subaru corporate location will utilize the following Zero Waste Boxes:

When full, the boxes will be returned to TerraCycle for processing and the collected waste will be cleaned, melted and remolded to make new products. Disposable masks are typically made from #5 polypropylene plastic and can be turned into a variety of items ranging from reusable shipping pallets to plastic lumber applications. Rubberized disposable gloves be used by rubber manufacturers in low-grade applications for products such as matting.

"At TerraCycle, our mission has always been to eliminate waste, recycle the unrecyclable and use our innovative business solutions to minimize human impact on the planet," said Tom Szaky, TerraCycle Founder and CEO. "By spearheading this initiative to reduce the impact of PPE waste on the environment, Subaru continues to demonstrate their shared commitment to a greener future."

Through the Subaru Loves the Earth recycling program, created in partnership with TerraCycle, participating Subaru retailers nationwide use Zero Waste Boxes to encourage customers, employees and community partners to recycle waste streams that are commonly thought of as hard-to-recycle, including snack wrappers/bags, disposable cups, lids, plastic straws, as well as coffee and creamer capsules. In addition, Subaru encourages customers to further their personal commitments to sustainability by individually collecting these waste streams and bringing them to a local participating Subaru retailer.

To learn more about Subaru Loves the Earth and the environmental work Subaru does, visit subaru.com/earth and follow #SubaruLovesTheEarth.


Now Is a Great Time to Start Sipping Peppermint Tea—Here's Why

If you're feeling anxious, try swapping your triple espresso for a cup of peppermint tea, says Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, a writer for Real Simple Magazine.  In an online article, she shares these peppermint tea tips

Made from the dried leaves of the peppermint plant, peppermint tea is an herbal infusion with a fresh, soothing flavor. And unless it’s mixed with green, black, or white tea (check the label), peppermint tea is a caffeine-free, tea-free, zero-calorie beverage that packs in so many health benefits, it’s kind of wild that it comes in such a small package.

Peppermint tea can be enjoyed iced or hot, and a cup or two daily is the optimal amount to sip in all the health benefits, according to Lauren Cadillac, RD, CPT, and Bianca Kamhi, Certified Holistic Health Coach. Whether you’re in it purely for the fresh taste or eager to boost your digestion, ease your tension and more, here are a few added benefits to drinking peppermint tea

Calming Effects:
Some animal studies have shown that peppermint has a relaxing effect, especially on the gastrointestinal tract, demonstrating its ability to ease an upset stomach,” says Cadillac. “Peppermint has also been shown to help ease digestive symptoms of IBS such as gain, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Menthol, the active component in peppermint has been shown to help reduce headaches. Peppermint has also been shown to be a strong antioxidant and have antimicrobial and antiviral activity.” Ordering a cup of peppermint tea after a big meal? Great idea. Cadillac says you can expect digestive symptoms to improve 30 to 60 minutes after drinking peppermint tea, noting that people with heartburn or GERD may experience worsening of symptoms. 

Pain Relief:
Peppermint tea’s active ingredient, menthol, can help to relieve migraines and headaches. “The type of headaches that peppermint tea usually helps with are those that are caused by poor eating habits or daily stress,” Kamhi explains. “In these cases, these headaches typically restrict the amount of blood vessels that go to the brain, and peppermint tea has the ability to open them up, which therefore can relieve the tension causing the headache.”

Boost Immunity:
“Peppermint tea is an immune booster, due to its high levels of antiviral antibiotic properties,” Kamhi says. Therefore, sipping peppermint tea may help relieve symptoms of the common cold, thanks in part to menthol’s ability to thin out mucus and calm the increase of mucus in sinuses and the throat. “This can help you breathe better,” Kamhi says. “It can also help to get rid of bad bacterias in the upper respiratory tract, which is why it's a great immune booster.”    

Fresh Breath:
Not a gum chewer? Keep a bag of peppermint tea on hand for bad breath emergencies. “Peppermint holds a number of antibacterial properties which can kill germs in your mouth,” Kamhi says. “This, along with its pleasant and fresh smell, may help freshen your breath.” 
Swapping out water for peppermint tea? Consider sticking to just one, two, or three cups of peppermint tea per day, Cadillac suggests. “There is no caffeine so it can be consumed safely,” she says. “Individuals should just be aware of how tea makes them feel 60 minutes after consumption.”  

Here’s a great deal from Real Simple Magazine, a one-year subscription for just $10.  Click here to subscribe.


Don't Trash the Box: Domino's® Encourages Customers to Recycle Their Pizza Boxes

Domino's the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, wants to see customers recycle their pizza boxes. Domino's and its primary box supplier, WestRock, have launched recycling.dominos.com – a website to share the facts about pizza box recycling. The website is a hub of information on pizza box recycling, including instructions on how to recycle pizza boxes, and a guide for what to do if a customer's community does not accept pizza boxes for recycling.

Contrary to popular belief, pizza boxes are recyclable, even if they have some grease on them.  To reduce confusion and encourage Americans to recycle their pizza boxes, WestRock conducted a research study that evaluated the impact of typical amounts of grease and residual cheese. The study was reviewed by member companies of the American Forest & Paper Association. It concluded that the presence of typical amounts of grease and residual cheese does not affect the quality of finished corrugated product containing expected levels of recovered fibers.

"Because nearly everything that leaves a Domino's store leaves in a corrugated box, we know we have an opportunity to make a difference when it comes to packaging and recycling," said Tim McIntyre, Domino's executive vice president of communications. "Our goal is that our customers will set aside any misconceptions they have around the recyclability of pizza boxes, read the facts and put their empty box in the recycling bin – or call their municipality and ask them to add pizza boxes to their collection."

A total of 73% of the U.S. population is estimated to have recycling programs available for pizza boxes, according to a Resource Recycling Systems access study commissioned by WestRock in fall 2019. While 27% of the population is served by programs with explicit acceptance of pizza boxes, 46% of the population has access to programs that imply, but don't say specifically, that they accept pizza boxes. The remainder are either unclear or say they cannot take pizza boxes.

Domino's and WestRock are both members of The Recycling Partnership – a nonprofit dedicated to improving accessibility to and quality of recycling. Domino's, WestRock and a second box supplier partnered to fund The Recycling Partnership's development of materials for municipalities to update their recycling programs to include pizza boxes. Consumers can find a link to The Recycling Partnership's toolkit on recycling.dominos.com, which they can send to their local recycling programs to encourage them to accept pizza boxes into their system.

Together with WestRock earlier in 2020, Domino's increased the recycled content in its pizza boxes from 40% to 72%. Domino's recognizes the importance of not just recycling and using recycled content, but also the importance of planting trees. Domino's is partnering with One Tree Planted to plant 50,000 trees across North America. Customers are invited to vote on social media for the region(s) where trees will be planted.


SKIP THE SLIP: Green America Urges CVS to Improve Receipt Practices

Green America launched its "Skip the Slip, CVS" campaign urging the pharmacy giant to improve its paper receipt practices to keep pace with other leading retailers. CVS is one of the largest retailers in the country and issues some of the longest receipts to customers. The chain's receipts contain the toxin Bisphenol-S (BPS), and its millions of paper receipts contribute to deforestation and pollution.

In response to consumer pressure and attention from late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel regarding CVS' long receipts, CVS introduced electronic receipts in its stores but failed to adequately promote the option to customers. Few CVS customers have switched because only CVS ExtraCare members have access to digital receipts, which they must request in store with a cashier. CVS' paper receipts continue to be over a foot long and toxic.

As Green America published in its recently updated report, roughly 93 percent of paper receipts are coated with Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS), known endocrine-disruptors. The total mass of BPA on a receipt is 250 to 1,000 times greater than the amount of BPA found in a can of food or in plastic baby bottles. Retail employees are at greater risk, as workers who make regular contact with receipts have over 30 percent more BPA or BPS in their bodies. Additionally, paper receipt production in the U.S. consumes an estimated 10 million trees, 21 billion gallons of water, and emits 12 billion pounds of CO2 each year.

"CVS has a well-known reputation for its lengthy paper receipts," said Beth Porter, Green America's Climate & Recycling director. "But what is less often discussed are that the millions of receipts it issues each year waste natural resources and pose health risks. CVS could be an industry leader on this issue if it switches to non-toxic receipts and fixes its restricted access to digital receipts. Currently, CVS is coming up short."

"We're mobilizing thousands of customers that visit CVS' 9,800 stores to urge the company to improve practices to protect worker health and follow through on its digital receipt program," said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Consumer and Corporate Engagement at Green America. "As a company that is in the business of providing customers with products to protect and enhance their health, CVS has an obligation to move off of toxic paper receipts and make it easy for customers to get digital receipts."

Consumers can sign the petition calling on CVS to replace its BPS-coated paper receipts with a phenol-free option and to offer digital receipts to all customers.


Gerber® Launches New Organic Snack Line BabyPops

Early childhood nutrition leader Gerber is expanding its Organic snacks line with the introduction of Gerber Organic BabyPops™, a new puffed corn and oat snack in a fun, popcorn-like shape made just the right size for little fingers learning to pick up. BabyPops come in three varieties – Peanut, Tomato and Banana Raspberry – and do not contain any added sweetener or salt, plus organic is always non-GMO.

"Gerber Organic BabyPops are designed to be fun for your little one to eat while self-feeding as they dissolve easily in their tiny mouths and are just the right size for little fingers learning to pick up," said Sarah Smith-Simpson, Principle Scientist at Gerber. "While every child reaches this milestone at their own pace, this is usually around eight months or older when babies are in the Crawler stage, ready for finger foods."

Gerber BabyPops' three great flavors all contain peanut. Tomato and Banana Raspberry are flavored with real fruits and veggies. BabyPops Peanut contains real, organic peanut flour and is the first Gerber product to offer peanut in a developmentally appropriate form to help parents include peanut in their little one's diet.

"Gerber recognizes the importance of having a peanut snack available as pediatric and nutrition experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), state there is now evidence in some infants that the early introduction of infant-safe forms of peanuts reduces the risk of peanut allergies," said Dr. Joel Lim, Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Gerber Medical Director. "Of course, parents should always discuss the introduction of peanut and other food allergens with their doctor and follow their doctor's instructions."

When introducing a new food or potential allergen to your baby, pediatricians recommend offering it in a small amount the first time it's given. If baby doesn't react, slowly increase the amount offered. Wait several days after feeding one food before introducing another to make it easier to pinpoint where the allergy is coming from. Learn more about how to introduce new foods, including common food allergens at Gerber.com/topic/food-allergies.

"It's incredibly exciting for us to be introducing a new snack to our Organic portfolio while also helping parents who are navigating food allergen introduction with their little ones," said Mansi Kothari, Brand Manager at Gerber. "While baby's pediatrician should always be consulted before offering a new food, especially potential food allergens, Gerber supports families concerned with food allergens via our product labelling, online content and the Parent Resource Center's 24/7 support."

Gerber Organic BabyPops come in a travel-size, recyclable container convenient for parents to slip in their diaper bag. For information on how to recycle the BabyPops container after use, visit Gerber.com/Sustainability.

BabyPops are currently available nationwide in-store at Target and will soon be available online at Target.com. They will be offered at Albertsons and Safeway retail locations in November. To explore all of Gerber's Organic snack offerings, please visit Gerber.com.


Grocery List: Bread, Milk and a Billion Dangerous Microbes

Dating back to as early as 2007, numerous research studies and countless news sources have covered the story of filthy shopping carts and their potential for transferring dangerous microbes and diseases to helpless shoppers. In fact, some of those studies even suggested that a shopping cart carries more germs than does a public toilet seat. 

Until now, shoppers have dealt with these filthy carts by wiping them down with disinfecting wipes or attempting to outsmart germs by pulling the shopping cart by the tail or side rails--a fruitless endeavor given the research. But, with today's announcement from Cart Safe Products, LLC (www.cartsafe.com) and thanks to an ingenious and simple idea by a Scottsdale, Arizona mom...all of that is about to change.

If necessity is the mother of invention, sometimes it takes a mom to fulfill a big need by creating a simple solution.

Cart Safe was created by Andi Barness-Rubin, a working mother of three boys who was frustrated with the thought of going to the grocery store and trying to keep germs off of herself and her food. Before the COVID-19 Pandemic, Andi would always wipe the handle of the shopping cart with a store-provided sanitizing wipe (when they were even available), but once the Coronavirus began to spread, she really starting thinking about all of the germs that were not only on the handle, but also all over the inside and outside of the cart. Frustrated by having to wipe down her entire cart, she came up with an idea that she knew would simplify her ability to keep herself and her family safe. With this idea in mind, Barness-Rubin worked at lightning speed to create and produce Cart Safe, the first-ever disposable shopping cart liner.

"The amounts of bacteria found on shopping cart surfaces were higher than those found in public restrooms," said Dr. Charles Gerba, Professor of Virology at the University of Arizona's Department of Environmental Science.

Cart Safe is recyclable, made from durable LDPE (low-density polyethylene, a #4 plastic). LDPE plastics are recognized by the FDA as a safe barrier from microbes. The Cart Safe liner can be disposed of by simply placing it in the recycle collection bins that most large grocery stores display at the entrance to their stores.

Barness-Rubin was awarded a patent by the U.S. government in July 2020 and is currently pursuing a Good Housekeeping seal of approval for her product.  For more information visit: www.cartsafe.com