Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on October 7, 2008
Ever wondered what worms do all day? I recently discovered that some worms are making a profit for a small fertilizer company based in New Jersey. The company is called Terracycle and they put worms to work. Terracycle employs them to turn tons (literally) of solid waste into an organic fertilizer. As their website boasts, they have created “an all-natural, all-organic, ‘goof-proof’ liquid plant food made from waste (worm poop) and packaged in waste (reused soda bottles).”
What they actually make is a kind of “poop soup” (they call it “tea”) that can be applied directly to plants. Sounds good!
But not everyone is as excited about the worm poop as I am. The Scotts Company, producers of MiracleGro plant food, sued Terracycle for copyright infringement and making unsubstantiated performance claims. They claimed Terracycle’s yellow and green packaging was too similar to Scotts and that it could cause confusion for consumers. Scotts further stated that Terracycle’s claims of being “as good or better than a leading synthetic plant food” was not founded in any scientific tests.
So, the battle raged. Words were exchanged. Terracycle refused to turn over the results of scientific tests conducted at Rutgers University and Scotts refused to turn over its scientific tests showing the positive effects of MiracleGro. And then came the settlement this past month. The boys from New Jersey decided it was important to recognize Scotts’ packaging copyright and change advertising claims in order for Terracycle to move ahead with its crusade against waste.
Why is this important? First, a $2.2 billion company was threatened by a small start-up that has yet to turn a profit, highlighting a trend in America to seek alternative products. Second, this represents a major breakthrough for eco-capitalism — and the publicity can only help other Terracycles and other smaller socially conscious companies.
And most importantly, worms are finally getting credit for all the dark hours underground recycling what other living things discard.
Check Out TerraCycles CEO on G Livings Room101