Sixth grader helps his school and the environment
While quenching his thirst with a CapriSun, Mathis LeBlanc started reading the back of the box. He learned he could earn money for his school and help the environment by recycling his juice pouches. He quickly responded and told his mother that he wanted to launch a school-wide CapriSun recycling effort—a CapriSun Brigade.
Mathis, a sixth grader at Nightengale Elementary, asked principal Mrs. Jordan’s permission to get started. With a little help from his mom and from his sixth grade ELA teacher Mrs. Powers, Mathis created flyers that he put up around school asking students and staff to save their of empty CapriSun pouches.
“There is a blue bin in the cafeteria – kids put their CapriSun pouches in it and then my mom and I collect them, take out the straws and make sure they are flat. Once we have collected a full bin, we ship them to TerraCycle” said Mathis.
TerraCycle, a green company, upcycles and recycles hard-to-recycle waste such as juice pouches, solo cups and chip bags. Removing these items from the waste stream reduces pressure on landfills.
TerraCycle weighs Mathis’ pouches and sends him a check. Mathis has chosen to donate money from the CapriSun Brigade to Nightengale Elementary’s student council.
Once the pouches are cleaned and sorted, they are ready to be repurposed into backpacks, pencil cases, and lunch boxes. (see examples of the finished products at http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/products.html. Any pouches that are too dirty to be upcycled and are shredded and compressed to be made into new materials.
On Feb. 13, 2013, after just over a week, Mathis and his schoolmates had collected approximately 300 CapriSun pouches.