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Why Send Garbage to TerraCycle?

What is the environmental benefit of sending garbage to TerraCycle?*

By sending garbage to TerraCycle, the waste is not landfilled or incinerated. Instead, new products are made with the collected garbage, reducing the need to extract new materials from the planet and subsequent environmental impact.

This impact is not small; for an average cotton pencil case, 91.1% of the carbon emissions associated with this product come from raw materials processing (the harvesting of the cotton and weaving it into textiles).

Percentage breakdown of emissions for virgin cotton pencil case

Percentage breakdown of emissions for virgin cotton pencil case

Making these products out of garbage eliminates the need for the raw materials processing, meaning that the upcycled product will have a much smaller carbon footprint.

The environmental impact goes beyond carbon emissions. By making that pencil case out of garbage, instead of cotton, we reduce resource depletion, water withdrawal and the overall negative impact on ecosystem quality. See graphs for the comparison of the environmental impacts of producing a cotton pencil case compared to a TerraCycle pencil case of upcycled candy wrappers.

TerraCycle products are made from waste materials so there are major carbon savings when using a TerraCycle product as opposed to a product made from virgin materials. Check out how much.

Carbon Emissions

Carbon Emissions

Upcycled Pencil Case Carbon Emissions

Upcycled pencil case carbon emissions

As you can see, packaging and distribution are the two main carbon emitters. Transportation is not a substantial contributor to the carbon impact.

How do TerraCycle products compare to products made of virgin materials?

TerraCycle Recycled Plastic Lumber Carbon Emissions

TerraCycle Recycled Plastic Lumber Carbon Emissions

As you can see, the manufacturing of the lumber and the distribution of it are the two main carbon emitters. Transportation is not a substantial contributor to the carbon impact.

In fact, TerraCycle's recycling process technology even generates a smaller impact than using conventional recycled plastic.

TerraCycle's recycled carbon emissions

What about when you're done with your TerraCycle product?

Send it back to us! Converted products can continue to be recycled through the same brigade program that created them. Keep the cycle going and don't let our products go to waste in a landfill or incinerator.

*These results are estimates based on Life Cycle Analysis studies done for TerraCycle.