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U.S. House of Representatives
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
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
fabric "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
have created has been everyone's responsibility. Every day we use products that have 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 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
I 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
major petrochemical company that heavily involved in plastic's recycling. I learned that they had a research project that created fiber
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 environmental recycling recycling program already in place.
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
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
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 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 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 Retrieva TM products can
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
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
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
offer "green" products should be 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.
Additional 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.
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 bas the added economic responsibility of "sustaining" these green companies after initial funding)
Government subsidies should also be offered for the purchase of these green product's, for 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,
pick-up, reclaiming these goods, sorting and 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 grants (over and above the
Low cost long term loans ( for greater
Additional tax incentives of an even lower rate of at least 10% over and above the amounts previously stated for the next 24 months
An accelerated "incentive program" should also be put into effect (possibly over over the next 18 to 24
24 months) to quickly
quickly motivate movement toward this long term solution. This will create a sense of urgency and stress the overall importance of this program.
I feel very strongly about this next point, it is quite possible the most important aspect of the entire environmental movement, at least it is to me and my company. That point is EDUCATION. Education of the masses. Does the general public understand the importance of creating environmentally sustainable products? Do we know why we recycle? What long term damage are we doing to the environment by not taking a proactive stance today? I think all know the answer's to these questions and they are not positive. So whose responsibility is it to inform and educate? It's all of ours!
In fact I propose that in order to qualify
to qualify for any/all incentives available under this program, you must first submit a comprehensive educational programs proposal. One that informs and explains the technology used in manufacture of your product(s) and why its important to do so (Ref. attached RETRIEVA flyer). Periodic updates should also be a part of this program so as to ensure continued focus in the right area. Continued funding should be withheld without these updates.
Global Green has turned away,
minimum delayed retail business because certain companies just wanted to "hang" our garments on a rack without delivering an environmental message. In fact Disney retail is currently working on their message because I refused to sell them garments without their program in place.
Personally, we use a hang tag to deliver our environmental message. Because we are cash limited, we cannot deliver the full educational message that
we would like to. Sadly, I must report that as