Terracycle Upcycling Waste by Recycling Old Product and Packaging Materials

4 March 2010

Environment

Activism > Environmental

Summary. Terracycle is an organization that helps create infinite product materials usage cycles.

Manufacturers parter with Terracycle by using materials in packaging that can be reused later when they are converted with low energy to another practical product.

TerraCycle makes affordable, eco-friendly products from a wide range of different non-recyclable waste materials.

With over 50 products available at major retailers like Walmart, Target, The Home Depot, OfficeMax, Petco and Whole Foods Market, TerraCycle is one of the fastest growing eco-friendly manufacturers in the world.

Our hope is to eliminate the idea of waste by finding innovative, unique uses for materials others deem garbage.

Videos. Here are some videos that explain how Terracycle works.

What is Garbage?

What is Terracycle?

Get Started

Review. The Terracycle program is a good idea, and we endorse it fully. The only drawback  is that there is a relatively small return on investment of time for individuals and organizations going to the trouble of collecting, cleaning, and sorting recyclable items and placing them in separate shipping containers. Most companies are already involved in upcycling by being their own recycling center. So, rather than sending used products to a recycling center like Terracycle, companies like Dell and Apple are offering to pay for return shipping costs of old recycled computers (for example).

Product Lifecycle. This diagram from Apple shows the complete product lifecycle impact on the environment (click to see full image).

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About Gregory Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer in Iowa City and also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. He also manages IowaCityWebDesignArtist.com and many other topic specific websites.

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