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Tesla Motors Awarded Grant Money for Green Packaging Materials

Fremont's Tesla Motors is among six Bay Area companies receiving grant money that totals nearly $80,000.

A press release from UseReusables.com

Oakland — The “Use Reusables” campaign, led by public agency Stopwaste.Org, has awarded $79,500 in grant funding to help six businesses replace limited-life transport packaging materials with durable, reusable alternatives, on a pilot project basis.

The grantees are non-profit MedShare (San Leandro, CA), Tesla Motors (Fremont, CA), Veritable Vegetable (San Francisco, CA), America’s Best Coffee Roasting Company (Oakland, CA), Straus Family Creamery (Petaluma, CA) and Shin Shin Foods (Portland, OR).

Each organization will transition a portion of their operations from expendable transport packaging materials—such as boxes, pallets and stretch film—to reusables, also contributing significant investment of their own.

Taken together, the six projects will eliminate 150 tons of packaging waste and reduce costs by approximately $675,000 each year. In addition, the projects will prevent and estimated 1,730 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), over their estimated lifetime.

“Reusable transport packaging can bring considerable benefits to organizations of all sizes in many different industries, from family-run dairies to major players in the automotive industry,” said Justin Lehrer, program manager at StopWaste.Org who leads the Use Reusables campaign. “These pilot projects will demonstrate to the larger business community that reusable transport packaging helps increase supply chain efficiencies while reducing environmental impacts.”

MedShare is using the grant funding to replace limited-life wooden pallets with longer-lasting reusable pallets to process donated medical supplies for hospitals in the developing world.

Tesla Motors is eliminating corrugated cardboard and plastic foam packaging used for glass components of the Model S sedan and replacing them with custom reusable glass racks.

Veritable Vegetable and Straus Family Creamery are switching from disposable plastic stretch film to reusable pallet wrap for produce and milk distribution to select customers.

America’s Best Coffee Roasting Company is converting their delivery system from cardboard boxes to reusable plastic totes. Shin Shin Foods is replacing paper flour sacks with bulk flour delivery by rail to aluminum flour silos.    

The grants were the first round of financial assistance provided by the Use Reusables campaign, a joint project of StopWaste.Org and the Reusable Packaging Association, with financial support from U.S. EPA’s Climate Showcase Communities program.

Since its launch in 2007, the campaign has worked on-on-one with hundreds of organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, through training workshops, events and expert advice, supported by a suite of educational materials and a comprehensive website.

A second round of grant funding will open on November 15, 2012. To learn more about the Use Reusables campaign, and to sign up for email notifications, please visit www.UseReusables.Com.

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