JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — An important trend in the current economy is developing a business model that is not only profitable, but is purpose-driven and delivers a positive social and environmental impact. In order to foster creativity and cultivate investment towards these innovations, a competition called Think Beyond Plastic was launched to find solutions to plastic pollution. Companies were asked to submit proposals that reduce the use of plastic materials in manufacturing, recycling, packaging and design.

Bob Hawkinson, co-founder of TLC Total Lawn Care Inc., came up with a product that would help eliminate approximately 2 billion plastic bags from the environment called Weed Recede. Weed Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 9.44.46 AMRecede is an all-in-one, soil degradable, bio-plastic mulch bag that replaces the need to use obsolete petroleum-based packaging for lawn care and landscaping materials that are often non-recycled and end up as an environmental pollutant. Weed Recede’s design also effectively suppresses weeds, reduces the use of herbicides and holds in moisture. The product was awarded Most Innovative Emerging Business in the 2014-2015 Think Beyond Plastic Innovation Competition.

“I’ve always disliked the fact that so much of the materials used in lawn care and landscaping are packaged in plastic,” admits Hawkinson, “but, historically, the technology has been slow to address the issue of plastic pollution. As of a few years ago, with the introduction of bio-plastics and plant-based materials used in consumer products, it made sense to me to apply this information to my business. Weed Recede represents the next stage in technology that embeds purpose in the packaging. It simplifies the delivery system for installing mulch in a faster, easier, more eco-friendly way that helps to eliminate billions of plastic bags from ending up in the ocean or landfills.”