How TerraCycle Helps the Environment
What happens to your waste?
99% of the total material flow in the US becomes garbage within 6 months*. That’s a lot of waste! For recyclables, many municipalities have the infrastructure to process and repurpose it. Non-recyclable materials are sent to either a landfill or incinerators.
How does TerraCycle fit in?
What is the impact of throwing away my garbage?
Garbage that is thrown out goes to a landfill or incinerator, where it will release carbon emissions that have a negative impact on the environment. Landfilled garbage also takes up limited space on the earth and produces other side effects like leaching toxins into the soil and groundwater.
Garbage that is recycled goes to a processing plant and is converted into new raw materials to make new products. This not only eliminates the negative effects of landfilling/incinerating it, but processing garbage into new raw material releases fewer emissions that producing new (“virgin”) materials.
Why are some materials non-recyclable?
Technically, “non-recyclable” materials can be recycled. However, these materials must be collected, sorted and processes differently than what we consider traditionally recyclable materials, which are really just the most easily recyclable materials (glass, metal, paper and some plastic).
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).
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.
For much more information on how to help save our local environment with garbage and waste recycling, kindly visit TerraCycle website: