ShopRite, Colgate Launch Recycling Contest
Colgate ShopRite Playground Rendering

ShopRite and Colgate have teamed with TerraCycle on the Recycled Playground Challenge, which aims to encourage improved oral health and environments among schoolkids and shoppers.

Through June 30, schools throughout ShopRite’s market area of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut and Maryland can vie for a new playground made entirely from recycled material by joining the “Oral Care Brigade,” a free recycling program offered by TerraCycle and Colgate.

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Oral Care Brigade member schools earn one “Playground Credit” for each shipment of empty toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes and floss containers received by TerraCycle. Schools can earn extra credits by getting parents and teachers to vote online.

“Colgate is committed to contributing to our communities and respecting the environment,” said Justin Skala, president, North America and global sustainability at New York-based Colgate-Palmolive.“Programs like the Colgate Oral Care Brigade and Recycled Playground Challenge offer us an innovative way to reinforce these commitments and for consumers to positively impact the environment by repurposing their Colgate oral care products.”

The school with the most credits will be revealed by July 18, with the playground to be installed during the 2014-15 back-to-school season. The first runner-up school will get 500 upcycled tote bags, 500 upcycled pencil cases, 500 upcycled pens and a $750 ShopRite gift certificate. The second and third runners-up will receive 250 upcycled tote bags, 250 upcycled pens and a $500 and $250 gift certificate, respectively. Additionally, five honorable-mention participants will get 250 upcycled pens and $150 ShopRite gift cards.

Magic of Recycling

As well as donating gift certificates for the runners-up, ShopRite is drumming up community interest in the contest through store displays. The chain “has a long history of caring for the communities it serves,” noted Karen Meleta, VP of consumer and corporate communications for Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer cooperative whose members operate more than 250 stores under the ShopRite banner. “This program is a fun way to engage our customers in this commitment and to bring to light the importance of recycling and preserving our resources for generations to come.”

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The Oral Care Brigade is an ongoing activity open to any individual, family, school or community group. For each piece of waste sent in using a prepaid shipping label, program participants earn money toward donations to their preferred schools or charities.

“At TerraCycle,collecting the oral care waste is only half of the story,” explained Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of the Trenton, N.J.-based international upcycling and recycling company. “The real magic happens when our partners choose to reuse the waste in a way that has a lasting benefit a community, like Colgate and ShopRite have done with these playgrounds.”

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