Here’s an interesting video on a closed-loop supply chain.
At some level it isn’t surprising that Wal Mart is involved. As we have noted in several posts, the good folks from Bentonville have undertaken a variety of projects to reduce the footprint of their business, improve the environmental performance of their partners, and provide more information to their consumers. However, cynical you want to be about their motives, you have to admit that they are ahead of the curve.
The pet bed project has a lot of similarities with what they have done with the humble pizza box. The notable difference is that the pet bed is a branded product that people intentionally buy. No one buys the pizza box for the pizza box. It will be interesting to see how this relationship is managed over time. Worldwise is dependent on Wal Mart to sell its product and to supply it with raw materials. The former is certainly not unusual for a lot of consumer product makers, but the latter is fairly unique. That is a lot of exposure to one firm.