What can a retailer do with the 100,000 water bottles that it no longer wants to sell? That's the question that faced REI, a Kent, Wash., outdoor goods retailer, that last year decided to stop selling polycarbonate water bottles because of concerns about bisphenol A safety. The company [technically Recreational Equipment Inc., although it rarely uses the full name] decided to team up with Aladdin to recycle the containers and use the material to make travel mugs. The recycled polycarbonate is on the outside surface of the containers -- the lid and liner are made from recycled polypropylene. The mugs contain 85 percent recycled plastic, including 30 percent post-consumer content, according to this news release from the companies. The 100,000 bottles weighed 28,000 pounds. It seems like a waste to make these bottles, then recycle them before they were ever used. But I suppose it makes more sense than sending them to a landfill, or selling them to another retailer that would turn around and put them on store shelves. Does anyone else have a better idea for how REI could have handled this?
Aladdin && REI recycling new, but unwanted, water bottles
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