Who is Terracycle?
TerraCycle is a private U.S. recycling company headquartered in New Jersey (USA).
It primarily runs a volunteer-based recycling platform to collect non-recyclable pre-consumer and post-consumer waste, and then partners with corporate donors or municipalities to turn it into raw material to be used in new products.
Tom Szaky is the CEO and founder of TerraCycle. Terracycle has gained a lot of media attention with the “Loop” initiative.
Loop is an initiative to combat single-use waste. Consumers can order their favourite products and brands online in reusable packaging. It’s an e-commerce business model. How does it work?
You place your empty reusable containers and packaging in the Loop Tote. You can schedule a free pick up from your home, return it at a UPS location or schedule a pick up to coincide with your next delivery.
Terracycle and Tom Szaky are communication and marketing champions. They disrupted the recycling industry and the way in which the industry communicates.
They managed to do the impossible: make recycling look “cool, sexy, young and fun”. They even convinced me that Terracycle had the “final solution” to our plastic waste problems.
Their hard work and success should be recognised! Super congrats!
So is it all glamour and glitter? No, let’s look at their achilles heal…. what they’re doing with the collected plastic waste.
Plastic Waste Recycling
TerraCycle claims to be collecting almost any kind of plastic waste. So what do they do with it?
After collection, the waste are sorted by material type – such as #1 (PET), #2 (HDPE), #5 (PP)
The waste gets shredded, melted down, perhaps combined with other additives, and turned into a usable raw material format like pellets or powder.
These plastics are melted, moulded, and extruded or injected into the manufacturing supply chain to become new, durable products made from items we use every day!
Here’s the picture that Terracycle uses on their website to illustrate these durable products.
Million Dollar Questions
All that plastic waste collected and the only applications for it are benches, playgrounds and garden beds?
How many of these benches, playgrounds and garden beds are we planning to make?
Are we planning to fill the surface of the earth with benches, playgrounds and garden beds?
Many playgrounds are made from wood, even the one on their picture.
That’s it folks; another myth bursted!