90 million LIVESTRONG wristbands have sold for a buck over the past 20 years. They are a symbol of hope and inspiration for cancer patients and their families and friends. But now the LIVESTRONG Foundation is looking for a creative solution to a packaging problem. They need ideas about what to do with 100,000 yellow strips of rubber that can’t be distributed and cost $184 a month to store.
“Peak year was 2005,” said Greg Lee, President of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. “We sold about 21 million wristbands that year.”
Lee remembers when these bracelets were an "it" item.
“There were times when it was the thing to have,” said Lee.
That was back when pro cyclist Lance Armstrong was the face of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Times have changed and now so is the iconic symbol of the foundation Armstrong founded.
The problem isn't the wristbands. For the most part they've always looked the same. The issue is the packaging on some older wristbands that have been in storage. New rules for exporting goods to other states and countries required changes to the labels on the wristband packaging.
“In addition to that, this particular packaging also referenced campaigns we had with a long-time partner, Nike, a number of years ago and an old website we're not using anymore,” said Lee.
The 100,000 wristbands with outdated packaging could be trashed, but instead the foundation is hoping they can be recycled. There are 84 boxes containing 1200 wristbands each. The foundation hopes there are countless ideas about what to do with them.
“Recycling them for an art project or grinding them up and using them on some type of an application like a slide on a children's playground or something like that,” said Lee.
Vicki Russell sees the potential.
“I remember when they first came out and they were all the rage and at one point you couldn't even find them anymore,” said Russell.
She's stocking up on LIVESTRONG gear for this weekend's LIVESTRONG Challenge and left with one newly packaged wristband. The hope is 100,000 outdated ones won't end up in deep storage.
Anyone with a creative idea about what to do with 84 boxes of yellow rubber wristbands should get in touch with the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The foundation wants to quit paying almost $200 a month to store the wristbands and is ready to recycle them for a good cause.