TerraCycle is an international company that makes non-recyclable waste nationally recyclable. By showing that business and sustainability can coexist and that no item, no matter how complex or disgusting, needs to go to waste, TerraCycle is moving the world towards better and brighter pastures. They develop very practical solutions for everything from cups and bottles to cigarette butts. Seriously. Nasty, gnarled, smokey, “how-in-the-world-did-they-do-that” cigarette butts. Check out their website for a full listing of the items they can recycle or upcycle.
TerraCycle deals with pre-consumer waste, which comes directly from manufacturers and post-consumer waste, which they collect through programs called Brigades. If any organization decides to collect for a certain waste stream (such as cups and bottles), then TerraCycle donates money to those organizations per unit of waste collected.
It’s a pretty genius idea and the best part is: it works. It works very well.
According to their information, 30 million people collect waste for TerraCycle globally and 2.5 billion units of waste is diverted from landfill and incineration by TerraCycle globally. Partnered with many recognizable brands including Pepsico, Kraft Foods, L’Oreal, and 3M, around 40 billion packages carry the TerraCycle logo, which makes it likely that you have seen or heard of TerraCycle before.
If you haven’t, now is as good a time as ever to get acquainted.