Through years of research and a bit of creativity, TerraCycle® has proven nearly everything on Earth can be effectively recycled. Where most of the products and packaging collected through our recycling programs are typically headed for landfills, thanks to our collectors, we are able to capture, sort, and process them into a format used to make new items!
Typically, most products and packaging collected through our recycling programs are headed in one direction—to landfills or littered in the environment—and thanks to collectors like you, TerraCycle® has proven it is possible to recycle, upcycle, or reuse nearly everything on Earth.
Through circular methods, TerraCycle captures, sorts, and processes the world’s most commonly discarded items into a material format used to make new items! Here’s how:
When we receive a new type of item, our Research & Development team uses scientific tests to learn how it can be broken down and best reintegrated into the manufacturing supply chain.
These sorted materials in their new, deconstructed formats, such as recycled plastic pellets, fibers, and metal alloys, can then be used instead of new, “virgin” material in manufacturing. If you are an organization interested in finding a closed-loop solution, click here.
Plastic is all around us. Some types of plastic, like #1 and #2 plastic, are accepted in most curbside or municipal recycling programs. Other types are more difficult to find a standard, local solution for, and for a number of reasons, which may include their complexity, size, high collection costs, or lack of value in the recycling system.
At TerraCycle, we view all material as recyclable and collect virtually every kind of plastic.
Once your collections make it to TerraCycle, we sort your items by resin code or material type—such as #1 (PET), #2 (HDPE), #5 (PP) and more— so they can be sent to be further processed using their resin-specific technology and process flows.
The sorted plastics are processed to transform them for sale to manufacturers. This is where your plastic tube or wrapper gets shredded, melted down, perhaps combined with other additives, and turned into a usable raw material format like regrind, pellets, or powder.
These converted plastics are then melted, molded, and extruded or injected into the manufacturing supply chain and recycled as new, durable products made from items we use every day!
Plastic is only the beginning! Here are some of the many ways we process different materials: