Dumpster Divers Use TikTok to Shame Stores and Fight Waste
A week ago, TikTok exploded into the public consciousness. It’s made by a San Francisco startup, it’s the leader in a new area of the internet—a social platform for videos—and—surprise, surprise!—it’s in the news for everything.
On the heels of a viral video of a homeless man eating a box of Skittles that people created and gave to him on TikTok, the company’s been dogged—and rightly so—by headlines like “Bezos and TikTok have a secret weapon: $70 million” and “TikTok is making a fortune off of Donald Trump’s election.”
“We can’t just ignore what’s happening and stay inside the bubble,” founder and CEO Kevin Systrom told Business Insider.
He’s right. But even as TikTok’s rise and recent backlash showed that the platform’s popularity is still in its early stages, those headlines were a reminder that TikTok users are not just playing with their phones, but also taking part in a world-renowned, tech-driven waste crisis.
Systrom’s company, now valued at more than $68 billion, is one of dozens of companies now offering new ways to manage and dispose of our personal waste. “It’s really a very new industry,” he told me.
“One of the trends we have seen is that more companies have started to talk about the role they play in environmental issues.”
Systrom, a Harvard student known as the Twitter troll, is trying to turn this new industry of personal waste management into a force to be reckoned with, and that goal is why he took me to his office in San Francisco’s SOMArts neighborhood to show me his company’s new “Tik-T-Litt” bins.
Systrom’s latest innovation is a pair of 3-D-printed plastic bins that resemble a trash can and can be customized with a number of accessories, including handles for carrying it out