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as part of this program so as to ensure continued focus in the right area. Funding should be withheld without these updates.
Global Green, as it turns out, we've turned away, or at a minimum we have delayed retail business because certain companies just wanted to hang our garments on racks without delivering an environmental message. In fact, Disney Retail is currently working on their message because we refused to sell them garments without the program in place.
We personally use a hang-tag on our garments to deliver our environmental message. Because we are cash limited, we cannot deliver the full educational message that we would like to do.
And sadly, I must report that as we attempt to attract additional funding investors are more interested in turning a profit than doing the environmentally correct thing. They have suggested that we compromise our beliefs for the sake of additional profit. By seeking new venture funding, we are forced into a position of giving up a large portion of our company and decision authority in order to acquire funds to sustain our growth.
And, in conclusion, the most important thing that the Federal Government can do today for start-up green companies would be to fund and to offer our aforementioned incentives, for without these incentives, I am afraid that the majority of industry already continues to proceed down the wrong path, one that is dictated by the cheapest means of producing a product without regard for the cost of the downstream problems that it will create.
At that time, you, I, and our children will be consumed with trying to right this wrong, an actual travesty when you consider that today we have the ability to significantly lessen this amount by enacting the proper legislation.
And I wonder out loud just how many more young entrepreneurial green companies will die and fall by the wayside because we couldn't compromise our beliefs but we didn't have the funds to sustain our future.
The choice is yours. Let's do the right thing.
[The prepared statement of Linda M. Bavaro follows:]
U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Science and Technology;
October 5, 1993
Linda M. Bavaro, CEO
I sincerely applaud you for your intentions of moving toward a more environmentally sustainable future through the use "green organizations" and their associated technology. I would also like to thank you for the opportunity to address your committee on this most important subject matter, the issue of cleaning up the environment for our future generations.
My company Global Green Inc. was created with this thought in mind. Prior to any proposed legislation we have been actively producing a product line of soft and hard apparel goods (T-shirts, fleecewear, tote bags etc.) that are made from recycled plastic (post consumer waste) 2-liter soda bottles.
We have trademarked Our fabric as "RETRIEVA", for it retrieve's previously used resources. It is 100% recyclable, it feels and acts just like cotton, but better. It's more versatile, durable and easier to care for. But best of all, by using this fabric we are reducing overall landfill waste and upon disposal you just simply recycle the garment to start the loop all over again.
The environmental damage we have created has been everyone's responsibility. Every day we use products that have a minute impact on the environment, but when we multiply the effect by billions of people over several generations, the damage becomes substantial.
This in part, is what moved me to form my company. My feelings and concerns toward environmental cleanup came from my personal convictions of helping to bring a better tomorrow for our children. I decided that if I could make a difference, then it was time to stop standing by and get involved. Never stopping, I researched what product's, after recycling could offer more reusable byproducts. Although paper takes up the majority of the landfill space, it's reusability is limited. Plastic had the best overall potential to be reused into "real" products.
That is when I started to research the industry. I spent countless hours at my local library looking into plastic's and their potential for reuse. Through research and contact's, I eventually came across a major petrochemical company that was heavily involved in plastic's recycling. I learned that they had a research project that created fiber from recycled 2-liter soda bottles. I contacted them and entered into a marketing relationship, for they could engineer this technology, but couldn't successfully market it. I looked at where and how they tried to enter this technology into the marketplace and realized that in order to be successful we needed to go to an organization that was forward thinking enough to have their Own environmental recycling program already in place. That organization was The Walt Disney Company at their Orlando, FL Reedy Creek recycling facility. By understanding Disney's level of active participation in their own internal programs on environmental issues, I approached them with the concept of educating them on what their recycling efforts could bring by closing the loop with this new technology. Annually they have an internal "Environmentality" program for employees. This year Our concept was to have employees bring in and recycle plastic soda containers before they could pick up their T-shirt made of RETRIEVA (with Jiminy Cricket on it encouraging them to do their part and recycle). The program was a smashing success. Over 37,000 shirts were made and distributed. This sale actually comercially productized this technology and gave birth to my company as it is known today. Because I am a small startup with limited funds, I had to borrow heavily, invest personal savings and get subsidized from the research company to complete this project. Without Government assitance however, I'm afraid that other companies with similiar opportunities will not be able to responsibily get involved and do their part.
Collectively we must all now participate with our own projects government, communities and the private sector. We must move forward and use existing technology to clean up and reduce pollution and it's effects on the environment. By using existing technology, we have moved toward what we hope will be the quickest way to an immediate solution. This solution will then put us on the path to a long term environmentally sustainable fix for the future. The creation and use of Retrieva " fabric is such an example. It is today's solution that creates a "closed-loop" fix for tomorrow.
The recycling involved in RetrievaTM products can save millions of pounds of plastic waste from our landfills, save millions of barrels of oil, and still provide us with the products we need for a modern society. Without argument, we understand the importance of recycling, but we must now find new and innovative ways to reduce and reuse our recycled matter. About 80% of all American trash is landfilled of which 13% of that landfill garbage is plastic. Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour and over 12 billion pounds of plastic packaging a year. Unfortunately, plastic because it is an inert by-product of petroleum will take upwards of 100 years before it even begins to decompose. And currently only 10% of that plastic is being recycled into new products.
The overall concept of this proposed legislation is proactive and headed in the right direction. In order to truly succeed however, there must be real and tangible incentives offered during the "economic development" phase of new product creation. Or we will once again be forced into a reactionary mode by addressing the "end of the pipe" problem, which historically has proven to be much more costly in terms of both dollars and damage done to the environment.
In order to stimulate this industry movement and growth, incentives for companies that offer "green" products should offered in the following ways;
- Low cost Government assisted loans for start-up green companies"
Tax relief; As a company qualifies for this program, during the first 24 months they should be entitled to tax relief in the form of a 25% reduction in the rate of taxes owed.
During the next 36 months, as sales increase they would be entitled to a lesser amount, possibly 15 to 10% reduction on their tax rate.
tax incentives could be offered in the form of investment tax credits and accelerated equipment depreciation for goods used in the manufacture/marketing of "green" products.
Government as First Market. The Federal government should absolutely be the first market for consumption of these products. Guaranteed long term, minimum order contracts should be put into place for these goods when applicable. For example; RETRIEVA goods that can be made into mail bags for U. S. mail carriers, duffel bags for all the military, T-shirts, uniforms, underwear etc. We should also have immediate approval for low cost loans as a provision of the contract. Generous payback terms could be offered as additional relief.
(Government has the added economic responsibility "sustaining" these green companies after initial funding)
Government subsidies should also be offered for the purchase of these green product's, for they they are almost without exception initially more costly than their counterparts. Although we cannot speak for the entire industry, we can however state that due to the added steps in creating our recycled garments which include curb side bottle pick-up, reclaiming these goods, sorting scrubbing the bottles, removing all labels, flaking, pelletizing, melting, cooling and ultimately spinning a fiber from this cooled liquid does indeed add to the cost of a garment that contains recycled plastic content.
Additionally; steps should be taken by the
Government to "reward" those companies that have
- Government grants (over and above the