TerraCycle uses only circular methods (reuse, upcycling or recycling) for repurposing the waste we collect through our various programs.
When it comes to what to do with waste, reuse (using something for its original purpose) is always the best option as it leverages all of the energy and materials that were needed to make the original product. At TerraCycle we bring reuse solutions to collected shoes, various forms of e-waste, clothing, and a range of other waste streams.
The key difference between upcycling and reusing waste is that with upcycling the original intention of the object changes. TerraCycle works with many of the world's best companies to bring upcycling solutions to many forms of waste. We sew juice pouches together into backpacks, chip bags into casual shoes, and even granola wrappers into shower curtains. Many of these products are available to buy in major retailers around the world as well as online.
The science of recycling is focused on recovering the materials that an object is made of. For example, recycling a used pen involves shredding it, separating the materials that it was made from, then melting those materials into raw materials that can be then used to make new recycled products. By volume, TerraCycle recycles over 97% of the waste that we collect.
Composting, is similar to recycling, but intended for organics; converting complex organic materials into soil and fertilizer. At TerraCycle we compost all the organic waste that we collect, such as the coffee in used coffee capsules, which is composted into rich organic materials to be used again to grow plants.
TerraCycle’s team of scientists have developed a range of closed-loop solutions for many types of waste. This includes making innovative products such as the world’s first pen product from used pens.
TerraCycle is always looking for partnership opportunities. If you are a waste converter that could help us recycle more waste, or a manufacturing company that is looking to make products from recycled waste, then please contact our Materials Team.