by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

NEW YORK September 16, 2009: TerraCycle, a world leader in the field of ‘up-cycling’ where difficult to recycle waste material is turned into affordable, eco-friendly products, will today announce at a reception attended by the Mayor of London in New York, it has chosen London as the location to expand into the UK and Europe. Think London, the foreign direct investment agency for London, worked together with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to further strengthen London’s position as a centre of excellence for sustainable businesses.

The announcement in New York coincides with Think London and UKTI’s North American business roadshow entitled the ‘Route to 2012’. The roadshow is aimed at highlighting the business opportunities open in London to North American companies, especially around the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.

Founded in 2001 by college freshman Tom Szaky, TerraCycle focuses on building a new, more responsible way of doing business. In its native US, it has revolutionised the industry by making eco-friendly and affordable products from waste materials. On announcing its expansion in to the UK, TerraCycle will also reveal details of its first commercial partnership, with Kraft Foods UK which will see Kenco and Tassimo coffee packaging diverted away from landfill.

Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle, comments, “It is with great excitement that we’re announcing our expansion; having grown rapidly in the US, we wanted to come to London and use the city as a launch pad to build our business across the UK and Europe. With a partnership already agreed with Kraft Foods UK we hope to quickly raise consumer awareness in the UK around up-cycling.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "It is not just a great compliment, but also a wise decision for TerraCycle to choose London as its base for European expansion. Our commitment to becoming one of the planet's most environmentally friendly cities means we will create a skills base in green technologies that will be the envy of the world, and a magnet for other companies taking advantage of emerging environmental markets.

"On top of that TerraCycle and its staff will receive a warm welcome in our great city and all the help needed to ensure immediate success. Despite the current economic climate we are continuing to invest heavily in our infrastructure, and in our people, to provide a highly trained pool of talent for the capital's businesses. I'm confident that the future is extremely bright for innovative companies with global ambitions, who choose to invest in London."

Michael Charlton, Chief Executive of Think London, said: “With $100m being invested in new waste technologies London was clearly the natural choice for TerraCycle to expand their operations into the UK. London offers a wealth of business opportunities in the sustainable sector, and the current market conditions are creating unique investment opportunities in London now. In fact there has never been a better time to invest in London, with favourable exchange rates against the dollar, and a wider and deeper pool of available labour in London.

British Consul General Sir Alan Collins said: "London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics in competition with some of the world's great cities, and US companies are already showing a very strong interest in getting involved. I hope that those of you who have a successful business in the US will register on CompeteFor.com and look to locate your operation in the UK to better position yourselves to secure Olympic business. I urge you to take advantage of UK Trade & Investment’s support to help you realize your 2012 business ambitions. Once you have done this you will find that the UK is a location that is second to none in enabling your company to showcase its capabilities, as well as providing a launch pad into the rest of Europe."

Over the last decade, Think London has helped more than 1,400 companies from 44 countries set up in London. These include companies from the sustainable sector such as Accord Global Environment Technology (AGET) Asia Carbon Exchange Pte Ltd, Better Generation, Closed Loop London, EarthTradeWater, Enecore, Ralos, Recycle Bank, Reliance Fibre and Tesla.

The ‘Route to 2012’ is a business roadshow being hosted by Think London, in partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), aimed at highlighting the business opportunities London has to offer, specifically around the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, and the 2012 Games legacy for those companies wishing to consider the longer term opportunities in London. The first leg of the roadshow took place in June 2009 and took in the cities of Palo Alto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle and Dallas. This successfully generated over 30 new business leads. The aim of the second leg of the road show is to engage with companies from the sustainable and digital sectors in and around the cities of Atlanta; Washington DC, New York and Boston. The roadshow will culminate with an event in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics. UK Trade & Investment is working with Think London on the ‘Route to 2012’ roadshow by hosting events, offering key note addresses and delivering the broader UK messages for US companies.

Created in 2000, the role of the Mayor of London is to promote economic development and wealth creation, social development, and the improvement of the environment, in the UK's capital city. The Mayor chairs several boards that deliver services for London including the transport and police authorities and sets out plans and policies covering: transport, planning and development, housing, economic development, regeneration culture, health and the environment. http://www.london.gov.uk. Unfortunately, the current Mayor has just caused some controversy in that he has come out against teleconferencing and in support of physical conferences, which, more often than not, involve travel.

Think London is the foreign direct investment agency for London. They connect international businesses to London, helping them set up, succeed and grow. Think London is a not-for-profit, private-public partnership delivering expertise and advice to international businesses.

TerraCycle (www.terracycle.net) represents a new generation of company, putting as much emphasis on its social and environmental impact as its profits. In 2001, college freshman Tom Szaky founded TerraCycle in hopes of building a new, more responsible way of doing business. Since then, TerraCycle has revolutionized the industry by making eco-friendly and affordable products from waste materials. TerraCycle provides jobs in the inner-city, provides free fundraisers for schools and non-profits and inspires kids nationwide to make a difference locally and globally. Join the TerraCycle eco-revolution by signing up for our free fundraising collection programs where we pay you for packaging like drink pouches, yogurt cups and more. To learn more about joining a TerraCycle Brigade, go to www.terracycle.net/brigades.

It is great to see that TerraCycle has finally made it across the Pond and that we will see a reduction in non-recyclable waste such as the coffee pouches and packs from Kenco and Tassimo into snazzy products rather than having such things go into landfills.

One can but wish TerraCycle all the best in their endeavor and I look forward to seeing many more companies join the effort and reduction of their environmental footprint as far as waste is concerned by joining with TerraCycle and their upcycling ventures.

We, in the UK, can sure do with TerraCycle over here as there is a mass of non-recyclables that TerraCycle is known to be able to upcycle successfully.

Welcome to Britain, folks!

© 2009