Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green Business

Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green Business

by Tom Szaky
     
 

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The amazing story of what Inc. magazine called “the coolest little startup in America.”
 
Tom Szaky dropped out of Princeton a decade ago to found TerraCycle, a company that makes the nonrecyclable recyclable. TerraCycle is now at the forefront of the eco-capitalist movement, partnering with more than 35 million people in twenty

Overview

The amazing story of what Inc. magazine called “the coolest little startup in America.”
 
Tom Szaky dropped out of Princeton a decade ago to found TerraCycle, a company that makes the nonrecyclable recyclable. TerraCycle is now at the forefront of the eco-capitalist movement, partnering with more than 35 million people in twenty countries in the collection of waste and transforming that waste into useful products. Creating trash cans from chip bags and plastic benches from cigarette butts, TerraCycle has redefined recycling.
 
Revolution in a Bottle is a rollicking tale of entrepreneurial adventure and an essential guide to creating a company that’s good for people, good for profits, and good for the planet.
 
Since Revolution in a Bottle was first published in 2009, TerraCycle has grown dramatically from a small company offering worm poop in a soda bottle to a pioneer of recycling worldwide. This completely revised and expanded edition continues the story of this incredible company.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“TerraCycle is doing more than selling good green products; it is changing how manufacturers, retailers, and consumers treat their waste. Read this book. I’m glad I did.”
Ben Cohen, cofounder, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101022214
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/18/2009
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
File size:
286 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Foreword

Introduction

 

CHAPTER 1 - Up to My Neck

CHAPTER 2 - Praise to Marley, Let the Enlightenment Begin

CHAPTER 3 - Hard Times

CHAPTER 4 - The Carrot and the Stick

CHAPTER 5 - The Big-Box Approach

CHAPTER 6 - And Then It Clicked

CHAPTER 7 - The Wal-Mart Order

CHAPTER 8 - suedbyscotts.com

CHAPTER 9 - Why Can’t Everything Be Made from Waste?

CHAPTER 10 - Branded Waste and the Launch of Sponsored Waste

CHAPTER 11 - Sponsored Waste Takes Off

CHAPTER 12 - Upcycled Marketing

CHAPTER 13 - Eco-Capitalist Art and Society

CHAPTER 14 - The Art of Public Relations

CHAPTER 15 - How to Launch an Eco-Friendly Product Every Week

 

CONCLUSION

Acknowledgements

Praise for Revolution in a Bottle and Tom Szaky

“There are lots of great companies committed to a better world, and we need many more. Tom Szaky’s TerraCycle is doing more than selling good green products; it is changing how manufacturers, retailers, and consumers treat their waste. His persistence and courage in overcoming a huge challenge from Miracle Grow reminded me of Ben & Jerry’s similar struggle with Häagen Dazs. Read this book. I’m glad I did.”

—Ben Cohen, founder, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

 

“Warning, reading this book will cause you to quit everything to become an eco-entrepreneur! If you want to feel hopeful about our planet, and our ability to solve the ecological mess we’ve created, then stop everything and read this inspiring book. Tom Szaky represents the kind of optimistic yet pragmatic ingenuity that can turn this ship around. His quest to turn waste into profits is not only clever and rewarding, but his positive, can-do spirit is delightfully contagious.”

—Gary Hirshberg, president and CE-Yo, Stonyfield Farm

 

“Like TerraCycle, The Body Shop started in a small corner of a little town with a big idea that defined our mission and fueled the company’s path to success and growth. Tom Szaky’s big idea, capitalizing on wasted waste, is not only a formula for good business, it is also favorably changing the way individuals, manufacturers, and retailers participate in the unfortunate chain of nonrecyclable packaging.”

—Gordon Roddick, cofounder and former CEO, The Body Shop International

 

“Ecopreneurs are still a rare species today. Revolution in a Bottle will motivate and educate any reader on how to become one. Ecopreneurs, like Tom Szaky, will revolutionize and save the economy and planet’s future through their leadership. It is desperately needed for planetary restoration.”

—Horst Rechelbacher, founder, Aveda

 

“In a time when we are facing both an economic and ecological crisis, this book is a breath of fresh air. Tom Szaky is smart and inspiring and his work is redefining how to do business in the climate era.”

—Tzeporah Bermanm, cofounder, ForestEthics and PowerUP Canada

“As Chief Environmental Officer for Chicago, I work to resolve a myriad of environmental challenges. Clearly these challenges can’t be solved by government alone. We need leadership from businesses, too, and Tom Szaky and TerraCycle are doing just that. Revolution in a Bottle is an inspiring guide to how consumers who care about a better world can partner with private companies to address a problem before it becomes a burden to the public.”

—Sadhu Johnston, Chief Environmental Officer, City of Chicago

 

“Tom Szaky is the Horatio Alger for the green economy, turning other people’s rags into socially responsible riches. His exhilarating story offers inspiration and hope for next-gen capitalism by demonstrating the power of an idea whose time has come—that waste is a profitable thing to mind.”

—Joel Makower, executive editor, GreenBiz.com, and author, Strategies for the Green Economy

 

“Tom Szaky is one of the brightest lights in the socially responsible business community. With TerraCycle’s big vision and unique services, Tom has found ways to partner with some of the world’s largest retailers and brands and shows great imagination into how to grow a great company using other people’s trash.”

—Joshua Mailman, cofounder, Social Venture Network, philanthropist and investor

 

“Not even in my wildest dreams could I imagine that in the center of capitalism and waste, America, an immigrant entrepreneur would flourish taking waste as a business model from idea to reality. Unleash ten Toms around the world, and any sagging economy will be crunching out quality at competitive prices and responding to basic needs.”

—Gunter Pauli, founder and executive director, Zero Emissions Research Initiative, Geneva, and author of Upcycling

 

“Tom Szaky’s entertaining tale of worm poop and financial adventure is a part of the greatest story now being told, the necessary reconciliation of economy and ecology. If we can learn, as TerraCycle has, to redefine waste as a resource, our capitalist system can reroot itself in nature, transforming problems into opportunities.”

—James Gollin, chair, Rainforest Action Network

PORTFOLIO

REVOLUTION IN A BOTTLE

Tom Szaky was born in Hungary and moved to Canada at age eight. After a few early entrepreneurial adventures, Tom enrolled at Princeton University in New Jersey in 2001. During his freshman year, he formed TerraCycle and introduced his first of now many TerraCycle products, worm poop packaged in used soda bottles and sold as organic plant food. Since 2002, Tom has guided TerraCycle’s meteoric growth to over one hundred products in fifteen thousand big-box stores, with over 1 million Americans engaged in innovative waste collection brigades.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“TerraCycle is doing more than selling good green products; it is changing how manufacturers, retailers, and consumers treat their waste. Read this book. I’m glad I did.”
—Ben Cohen, cofounder, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

Meet the Author

Tom Szaky is co-founder and CEO of TerraCycle, producer of the world’s first products that are made entirely from and packaged entirely in waste. Born in Budapest and raised in Toronto, Szaky moved to the U.S. in 2001 to attend Princeton University, but left a year later to focus on his startup. TerraCycle, based in Trenton, New Jersey, now has annual sales of $8 million, sustained five-year growth of over 200% per year, and has been featured by hundreds of media outlets.
 
Visit www.terracycle.com

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