Terracycle, the company which is “Eliminating the idea of waste”
Terracycle is an American business situated in 22 countries and working with more than 100 of major brands. The company has been recycling the unrecyclable since 2001. To achieve that, Terracycle uses the help of both industries and volunteers.
An impressive panel of raw materials
Tom Szaky was 20 years old when he put up a composting system in which worms were used to produce a fertilizer. The product was a success, and Terracycle was born. Tom Szaky’s strategy is to aim for the waste which is considered as too difficult to recycle (and which represents half of the total trash we produce). With the help of his team (100 employees), used drink pouches become bag packs, flip flops are turned into playground equipment… For Tom Skazy, the trickier it is to recycle a material, the better! Terracycle is even creating a unique kind of plastic, made, amongst others, of old diapers, chewing gums, tooth brushes and cigarette butts. That material is processed to assemble garden tools or… ashtrays. Terracycle’s plastic can therefore be reused an infinite number of times! Thus, the company manufactures approximatively 1 500 products. Those products are either up-cycled (meaning the product is not fundamentally altered, only reclaimed for a different purpose) or recycled.
A resourceful system
Terracycle works as a global coordinated structure: in order to be supplied, the company asks for schools, companies and citizens to get involved. The participants join “brigade programs”, which collect and send the waste to Terracycle. The partner industries (such as Nestlé or Colgate Palmolive) are paying for the transportation costs, while Terracycle recompenses every participant with a rewarding system (for every item collected, $ 0,02 are given to an organization or a school of the participant’s choice).
Today, over $ 7 billions have been collected for charity purposes, and 19 millions of participants have saved 500 millions pieces of waste.
Learn more: www.terracycle.com/