TerraCycle Helps Schools Recycle and Learn

TerraCycle is a company that wants us to rethink waste. They collect materials that would be sent to landfills and use them to create new products thereby creating less waste filling up the landfills.

Here in Canada they have been quite successful with their school programs – and have given money back to schools that have been good waste collectors. They have successfully diverted one million drink pouches from landfills in Canada alone and turned them into useful products.

Across Canada over 2,700 schools, non-profits and community groups have joined together to help collect the one million pieces. Exactly how much is one million drink pouches? It is enough to cover nine hockey rinks or 33 basketball courts. Students, teachers and community members from almost 3,000 communities across Canada are working together to assure this packaging is no longer waste and can be given new life by TerraCycle.

“It gives the students a chance to participate and see results for their actions. We can collect waste and get paid for it,” says Sandra Ross, parent volunteer at William S. Patterson P.S. in Clandeboye, Manitoba.

TerraCycle is upcycling and recycling the packaging collected by the Drink Pouch Brigade members into a range of eco-friendly consumer products that should be in stores within the next 6 to 12 months. TerraCycle can turn the pouches into everything from upcycled pencil cases to park benches!

Check out TerraCycle’s website.

“Upcycling” Gets Corporate Interest

Upcycling takes items that would otherwise be wasted and makes them into useful products. James, who works for Terracycle, wrote to let me know that they have teamed up with Kraft to make some upcycled bags. I wonder how people will react to branded recycling.

Kraft will become the first major multi-category corporation to fund the collection of used packaging associated with its products. Several Kraft brands, including Balance bars and South Beach Living bars, Capri Sun beverages, and Chips Ahoy! and Oreo cookies, are now the lead sponsors of TerraCycle Brigades. These nationwide recycling programs make a donation for every piece of packaging a location collects.

“Sustainability is about looking out for future generations. Kraft is proud to partner with TerraCycle, an innovative company who has made it their mission to reduce the impact on landfills and to educate consumers on the importance of recycling,” says Jeff Chahley, Senior Director, Sustainability, Kraft Foods. “TerraCycle’s model of rewarding ’brigade hosts’ is a novel way of collecting packaging waste that would otherwise have been sent to landfills. It’s so cool to see trash turned into merchandise that’s unlike anything else on the market.”

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