In collaboration with TerraCycle
Table of Contents
Who doesn’t love recycling? Isn’t it fun to sort through your garbage and separate your used tissues from cardboard boxes? And who isn’t enchanted by figuring out whether you can recycle batteries or not? I can tell you’re already giddy!
Sarcasm aside, recycling can be difficult and downright miserable when you don’t know the correct protocols of what goes in which colored bin. Thankfully, TerraCycle’s mission is Eliminating the Idea of Waste®, and they’re on a journey to recycle the unrecyclable. Since 2001, they’ve provided recycling options for consumers, retailers, schools, and more. Not only can they help you recycle what you thought you couldn’t, but they also partner with companies to deliver products in sustainable packaging through Loop.
I’ll cover two of their main options—Zero Waste Box™ and Loop—in my TerraCycle review while also telling you about who their services are for, what customers think about them, and more. But first, let’s cover the brand’s highlights.
- Recycles Difficult-to-Recycle Items: TerraCycle specializes in recycling items that are traditionally considered non-recyclable, providing solutions for hard-to-recycle waste like snack wrappers, beauty product packaging, and more.
- Encourages Consumer Participation: TerraCycle engages individuals, schools, businesses, and communities in recycling efforts through various collection programs. This empowers people to take an active role in reducing waste.
- Partnerships with Brands: The company collaborates with numerous companies and brands to implement recycling programs for their products and packaging. These partnerships make sure waste is recycled instead of sent to landfills and incinerators.
- Innovative Recycling Techniques: TerraCycle employs innovative recycling technology to give new life to discarded items and create new products from waste.
- Loop Initiative: Together with brands, retailers, and manufacturers, Loop enables reusable and returnable versions of products and packaging. This helps reduce single-use packaging waste.
- Global Impact: TerraCycle operates in 20+ countries and partners with organizations and businesses worldwide, contributing to a global effort to reduce waste.
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Our team spends hours researching, consulting with medical experts, gathering insight from expert professionals, reviewing customer feedback, and analyzing products to provide you with the information you need.
How Does TerraCycle Work?
What is and isn’t recyclable curbside is determined by recycling companies’ ability to make a profit from what they’re recycling. TerraCycle works with brands, retailers, and funding agents to open up more avenues for recycling. They have a Research and Development team who work on creating recycling solutions for hard-to-recycle trash and then offer free and paid recycling options for those products. When waste is received, they sort the items, then clean and process them into raw material. Manufacturing companies buy the raw material and turn it into new products, such as playgrounds in parks, flooring tiles, watering cans, and much more.
TerraCycle Zero Waste Box
The Zero Waste Box system is a simple way for you to collect all your trash and send it to TerraCycle en masse. You can select from one of multiple boxes, fill it with as much waste as it can hold, and then ship it to TerraCycle using the pre-attached shipping label.
There are dozens of boxes to choose from, each with different materials you can stock in them. The best-sellers include the following:
- All-in-One Zero Waste Box™: $219
- Candy and Snack Wrappers Zero Waste Box™: $95
- Coffee Capsules Zero Waste Box™: $121
- Pens, Pencils, and Markers Zero Waste Box™: $154
- Kitchen Separation Zero Waste Box™: $124
Keep in mind that TerraCycle also has free recycling programs for certain waste streams.
The other consumer-friendly option from TerraCycle is their Loop system, which is best thought of as a “circular ecosystem” between retailers, consumers, and brands. Loop is a global platform that makes reuse convenient and accessible. Together with brands, retailers, and manufacturers, Loop enables reusable and returnable versions of conventional single-use products.
As you can expect, this can have a noticeable effect on how much waste we produce because Loop essentially cuts out all the waste that comes from packaging.
Loop is currently available on select products from these retailers in select locations in the United States:
- Giant Food
You can search for Loop near you at exploreloop.com.
Who is TerraCycle For?
It seems the TerraCycle Zero Waste Box is the best option for those looking to cut down on their waste if they accumulate large amounts of trash that cannot be recycled by conventional means. The service is then great if you’re doing a home renovation or some project that requires materials you don’t usually keep around the house.
TerraCycle Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
When looking through customer TerraCycle reviews, I found that most customers appreciated the brand’s commitment to reducing waste and finding innovative solutions for hard-to-recycle items. They see the company as making a positive impact on the environment, giving them an average score of 4.2/5 stars on Trust Pilot from more than 150 pieces of consumer feedback.
“I love the TerraCycle waste boxes. It may look an expensive solution initially, but when you work out cost per recycled item, the price suddenly seem very reasonable. Thank you for being there and allowing us to recycle all those items that, to their shame, local councils will not touch,” wrote one user on Trust Pilot.
Some individuals felt empowered by using Zero Waste Boxes. They saw their involvement as a tangible way to contribute to environmental sustainability.
As another customer wrote on Trust Pilot, “Super quick delivery. Box easy to assemble so you can use it straight away. It so great that all that plastic packaging you are not sure will ever be recycled is going to be recycled properly. It feels great to think that my plastic is no longer possibly ending up being burnt in another country. I feel like I am taking responsibility for the plastic choices I make.”
If there was one complaint about the service, it’s that it can be quite expensive upfront. While the boxes may have a cost, TerraCycle guarantees that they recycle all accepted waste, which was enough of a benefit to convince some customers.
“Great to provide a service to increase what I can recycle. Shame it’s a bit expensive as I think that would put many people off in the current economic climate (although I understand it must be a costly process). Useful that the cost of the return is included in the up front cost,” said one customer.
So, while Zero Waste Boxes weren’t seen as a viable option for everyone, most customers were happy that they were able to recycle hard-to-recycle items. And, of course, TerraCycle offers free recycling programs for many types of hard-to-recycle trash, too.
Is TerraCycle Legit?
Some have questioned TerraCycle’s legitimacy because of the shipping aspects of their recycling process. However, the company puts in more than enough work when it comes to researching and developing plans for effective recycling, in addition to being accredited to the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS) through an audit by Bureau Veritas, so I feel comfortable saying TerraCycle is legit.
Is TerraCycle Worth It?
Joining TerraCycle programs allows individuals, schools, businesses, and communities to actively participate in waste reduction efforts. You may feel a sense of empowerment by joining up with them.
The Zero Waste Boxes can be expensive, so I’d only recommend them to people who generate a fair amount of waste that they want to recycle. However, TerraCycle does offer free recycling programs for many kinds of hard-to-recycle trash.
How to Recycle with TerraCycle
You can sign up for any of TerraCycle’s free recycling programs and purchase Zero Waste Boxes on their website, www.terracycle.com.
Who owns TerraCycle?
What is TerraCycle’s Shipping Policy?
TerraCycle’s shipping policies differ depending on what you’re trying to recycle. In most cases, however, shipping is pre-paid or free. You can consult with your account on their website to figure out how to ship your recycling to them.
How To Contact TerraCycle
If you have any remaining questions after reading my TerraCycle review, or you’re just unsure of a few concepts, then you should reach out to the company. You can email them at [email protected].
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