Monday, March 19, 2007

Recycline Marks Partnership Milestones With Special-Edition Toothbrush; Stonyfield Farm CEO Promotes 2007 Farm Bill

As of last October, when GoodBiz113 featured Recycline's innovative partnership with Stonyfield Farm, the world's leading producer of organic yogurt ["Recycline-Stonyfield Farm Partnership Milks Resources to Benefit the Environment, Consumers and Each Other"], just more than 1 million yogurt cups had been recycled into Recycline's eco-friendly Preserve® brand of consumer products [e.g., toothbrushes, razors].

This morning, Recycline announced that it's given new life to more than 2 million Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups. The company is marking that milestone -- and the five-year anniversary of its recycling partnership, and shared commitment to educating consumers about healthy product choices and preserving the environment -- by introducing a special-edition toothbrush. This toothbrush -- in Stonyfield Farm's signature rich-blue hue, no less -- features a unique insert about the partnership of these forward-thinking New England companies, and is being sold at retail stores throughout 2007.

Recycline uses recycled plastics to manufacture some of its its Preserve® brand products. Since Stonyfield Farm uses polypropylene [#5] plastic for some of its yogurt-cup material, the recycling partnership with Recycline is a natural fit.

“Sourcing recycled materials for a consumer product -- instead of using virgin resources -- is a great way to support natural-resource conservation and reduce dependence on foreign fuels,” states Recycline’s president and founder Eric Hudson. “Many people don’t realize that, since plastics are made with valuable resources like natural gas and oil, using recycled materials is one very important step in reducing our reliance on foreign oil and gas.

“Using recycled materials also reduces the cost to our environment caused by the exploration, mining, reprocessing and transportation of these precious resources. In fact, the Natural Resources Defense Council reports that making products from recycled plastics vs. non-recycled plastics reduces pollution and energy usage by 70%-80%."

Preserve® Brand Expands
Recycline’s Preserve brand includes the Preserve® Toothbrush, the Preserve® Jr Toothbrush, the Preserve® Razor, Preserve® Tongue Cleaners, and Preserve® Flavored Toothpicks made from sustainably harvested and locally grown white birch wood. In 2005, Recycline expanded into the kitchenware market with the launch of its Preserve Tableware line, which includes Preserve® Plateware, Preserve® Cutlery and Preserve® Tumblers -- all of which are reusable and recyclable plates, forks, knives, spoons and cups made from recycled plastic and offered in stylish colors.

The Preserve® Razor Triple is the latest addition to the Preserve brand. This new razor is the first environment-friendly alternative for high-performance shaving products.

Handles of Recycline’s products are made from 100% recycled plastics -- much of which comes from recycled Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups. And the recycling story doesn’t end there, as the handles are also completely recyclable through community recycling programs that accept #5 plastics, or by using Recycline’s unique postage-paid recycling mailer [enclosed with products]. All returned Preserve products and packaging are then recycled into plastic lumber, which is used to make picnic tables, decks, boardwalks and other durable products.

Recycline’s mission is to help consumers conserve – to develop products with improved function that are also responsible to the Earth. The Preserve brand’s key message is, “Preserve your Health, Preserve the Earth.”

Stonyfield Farm Takes the Lead -- Environmentally, Socially and Politically
Stonyfield Farm donates 10% of its profits to environmental causes. It was America’s first manufacturer to offset 100 percent of its CO2 emissions from its facility energy use, and recently installed the largest solar array in New Hampshire to help power its production plant -- all efforts to reduce global warming.

Through recycling initiatives, Stonyfield Farm has kept more than 10 million pounds of waste out of landfills and incinerators. As a result, the company is widely known as a national leader in environmentally and socially sound business practices.

"Stonyfield Farm has been educating consumers on key environmental issues and motivating them to take action for over 20 years," says Gary Hirshberg [pictured above], president and CEO [AKA CE-Yo] of Stonyfield Farm. “Our ongoing partnership with Recycline has made possible the recycling of more than 2 million yogurt cups into useful, new planet-friendly products like the Preserve® toothbrushes and, now, the Preserve Razor Triple. This project demonstrates what companies can do to take responsibility for their products -- from design to disposal."

Celebrating its 24th year, Stonyfield Farm is the world’s leading organic yogurt maker, and produces all-natural and organic yogurt, smoothies, cultured soy, frozen yogurt, ice cream, milk and the new Shift™ energy drink. The company advocates that healthy food can only come from a healthy planet.

Hirshberg: Farm Bill Affects Us All
Stonyfield Farm was the nation’s first dairy processor to pay farmers not to treat cows with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBST, and is universally respected for its strong partnerships with regional family farmers. In fact, just last week, Hirshberg issued a heartfelt plea to citizens/voters and elected officials to support the 2007 Farm Bill that both houses of the 110th Congress are considering:

"You may have heard that Congress is now reshaping our nation’s Farm Bill in preparation for its September renewal," Hirshberg wrote in his company's "Moosletter" to Stonyfield customers, employees, friends, etc. "But you may not know how profoundly it could affect your life and the lives of future generations.

"I’m especially concerned about the impact the new Farm Bill will have on our nation’s family farms. The U.S. is currently losing farmland to development at a rate of two acres per minute! And, as they say, asphalt is the final crop; once you lose farmland to development, you almost never get it back.

"Our local sources of fruits, vegetables and dairy are at risk. According to Environmental Defense, more than 80% of our fruits and vegetables, and more than 60% of our dairy products, are produced in areas threatened by sprawl. Our communities are losing wildlife habitat, and scenic and cultural landscapes. And all at a rate of more than a million acres per year!

"Small to medium-sized farms make up 40% of U.S. farm and ranch land. Yet our current Farm Bill sends about 73% of all farm subsidies to the largest 10% of farms in the country. With the new Farm Bill, we could fix this inequity and do much more to help smaller farms survive.

"A proposed part of the 2007 Farm Bill -- the Healthy Farms, Fuels and Food Act -- is bipartisan legislation that could give family farmers access to the conservation, renewable energy, and other programs that send about $20 billion in subsidies to U.S. farmers each year. It would also provide financial assistance to help family farmers make the costly transition to organic production methods.

"Last week, I met with Sen. Tom Harkin [D-Iowa], who chairs the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, and will, thus, be the principal architect and leader of the 2007 Farm Bill’s drafting and passage. Sen. Harkin emphatically stressed to me the important role that Stonyfield consumers could play by letting Congress know where they stand. Particularly, with a very significant election coming up in 2008, senators and Congress people are acutely sensitive to constituents’ calls and e-mails.

"Congress renews the Farm Bill only once every five to seven years, so this opportunity won’t come again soon. Now’s the time to let your Congressperson know that you support the Healthy Farms, Foods and Fuels Act. To learn more about this legislation and how you can support it, click here."

Next Steps
Both Recycline and Stonyfield Farm serve the estimated 63 million U.S. consumers who strongly consider the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions, and the retailers that sell natural products to these consumers. The companies' products are available nationwide in thousands of natural health food stores and supermarket chains.
To learn more about Recycline and the Preserve brand, please visit, or call 1-888-354-7296.

For more information about Stonyfield Farm, its products and initiatives, visit, or call 1-800-PRO-COWS.

Contact your senators and representatives.

A Traveler's Guide to Going Green! Green Hotels, Tips for Responsible Travel, Reducing Your Carbon Footprint, and More on

Monday, March 05, 2007

Kerry: Gulf Coast Needs More than Empty Promises; Calls for Reviews of Disaster-Recovery Contracting Practices

Last Thursday, after President Bush's Gulf Coast visit, Sen. John Kerry [D-Mass.] had some harsh words. Kerry, chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, is the lead sponsor of bipartisan legislation to overhaul the government's disaster loan program, which the Bush Administration has been blocking since September 2005.

"Long-term recovery for the Gulf Coast requires a whole lot more than 18 months of empty promises," said Kerry. "Businesses that were once the heart of the Gulf Coast economy are now hanging on by a thread. Yet the bipartisan proposals in Congress to get these businesses back up and running have been blocked by the Bush Administration at every turn.

"On his last visit to the Gulf Coast, the President predicted a bright future for the region's entrepreneurs. Yet, in the six months since that visit, nothing's changed. While the Go Zone legislation represented a good first step, we still need fundamental reform of the government's disaster loan program to permanentlyremove delays and red tape that have prevented businesses from getting timely financial assistance."

The Small Business Disaster Response and Loan Improvements Act of 2007 [S.163], sponsored by Kerry and cosponsored by Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-La.], Sen. Olympia Snowe [R-Maine] and Sen. David Vitter [D-La.], would:
* Establish a Private Disaster Loan [PDL] program that allows banks to make loans directly to victims after meeting Small Business Administration [SBA] criteria. The SBA will provide an 85 percent guarantee for these loans;

* Require the SBA to draft rules within one year that would create a new "expedited disaster assistance business loan program." These short-term loans would have low interest rates similar to regular disaster loans. This would provide businesses with short-term assistance while they await other forms of federal assistance or insurance payouts following future disasters. It specifically addresses one of the major issues following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita -- a lack of access to immediate capital to keep businesses afloat;

* Create a new presidential declaration of "Catastrophic National Disaster," which will allow the SBA to issue nationwide economic-injury disaster loans to small businesses affected by a large-scale disaster;

* Allow the SBA to provide relief to fuel-dependent small businesses when energy prices increase at extraordinarily high rates.

* Provide key tools for processing disaster loan applications more quickly by authorizing the SBA to enter into agreements with qualified private contractors to process disaster loans, and requiring the SBA to analyze and report to Congress on how the disaster loan application process can be improved; and

* Increase the maximum size of an SBA disaster loan from $1.5 million to $5 million, and allow non-profit groups to be eligible for disaster loans.

Sen. Kerry also called on major federal agencies awarding contracts after disasters to issue and enforce contracting plans, to ensure small firms and disadvantaged businesses receive their fair share of contracts.

A Government Accountability Report released today found that there needs to be better transparency and enforcement at agencies responsible for 94 percent of federal disaster recovery contracts after Hurricane Katrina. Those agencies are the Departments of Homeland Security [DHS] and Defense [DOD], the General Services Administration [GSA], and the Army Corps of Engineers [Corps].

"All the presidential photo opportunities in the world haven't resulted in more small and local business participation in rebuilding communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina," said Kerry. "This GAO report reveals a severe gap in the information we need to ensure small businesses are afforded every opportunity to win contracts and help recover after a disaster. We need more information and better oversight to ensure the government is following the law."

Kerry sent a letter to the heads of DHS, DOD, GSA and the Corps, calling on the agencies to implement the GAO's recommendations to: 1] issue guidance to key personnel reinforcing the importance of subcontracting plan requirements; and 2] consider requesting that the agencies' Inspectors General review compliance with this guidance.

To read the GAO report, visit:

To read the text of the letter, click here.

Sources: Library of Congress [via THOMAS], U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

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