• Teja Hudson

Use Terracycle: Top 5 Quick Actions for Big Impact #4

Updated: Apr 7, 2019

This series of posts is covering the five quickest things you can do for your business to make the biggest impact and the biggest steps towards that magic number: zero. If you want your business to be more sustainable but don't know where to start, read on!

#4 - Sign Up to TerraCycle and Recycle Everything

The previous posts in this series have been a bit more in-depth, but this one is going to be a little shorter - but no less valuable!

TerraCycle is a multinational company that specialises in recycling items that usually end up in landfill. They offer a range of boxes that you can buy online, and when the box arrives you fill it with that category of waste and send back to them when full. They also partner with companies to facilitate packaging recuperation in a range of free programs, where you can take that brand's empty packaging to a central drop-off point or download a free shipping label to send it back to them.

TerraCycle boxes come in different sizes and are either broken up into categories of waste - like office supplies, gloves, disposable clothing, bathroom, athletic balls, or beauty supplies & packaging - or you can get a more general box, like the

All-In-One Zero Waste Box.

From the TerraCycle website:

"TerraCycle is Eliminating the Idea of Waste® by recycling the "non-recyclable." Whether it's coffee capsules from your home, pens from a school, or plastic gloves from a manufacturing facility, TerraCycle can collect and recycle almost any form of waste. We partner with individual collectors...as well as major consumer product companies, retailers, manufacturers, municipalities, and small businesses across 20 different countries. With your help, we are able to divert millions of pounds of waste from landfills and incinerators each month."

Be warned: they're not cheap. But the price represents the true cost of dealing responsibly with the items we usually throw away so readily, which makes them one of the leaders in promoting Sustainable Development Goal 12-C - Remove Market Distortions That Encourage Wasteful Consumption. Perhaps more accurate pricing will encourage reduction of resource use more than anything else will.

Overall, through their successful recycling programs and partnerships with leading companies, they are demonstrating the entirety of Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production - in action and will hopefully pave the way for many more companies like them.

Of course, preventing waste is always the first and best option. But our society is not currently geared up to make a completely zero waste existence always possible, so for those times when waste really is unavoidable, TerraCycle will make sure it becomes part of the circular economy, instead of going to landfill to be buried until another day.

Stay tuned for the final post in the series, which will cover #5 on our list of Top 5 Quick Actions for Big Impact...

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