These programmes are sponsored by brands that contract with TerraCycle to conduct recycling programmes for categories of waste they manufacture. Third party shipping companies (usually the postal service) pick up the waste, plus there are over 50,000 voluntary collection locations around the world. The recycled materials are sold to manufacturers that make new products, significantly reducing carbon and emissions as compared to landfill, incineration and the production of substitute virgin materials.
To generate consumer and retailer engagement, as well as to spread the word about these recycling programmes, TerraCycle has developed world class in-house marketing and communications teams.
TerraCycle is adding new business units which provide options for end-users (distributors, institutions and individuals) to purchase customised recycling services from TerraCycle.
TerraCycle provides recycling solutions for otherwise non- recyclable waste, which allow used products and packaging
to be reused, upcycled (used for different purpose) and/or recycled. In terms of the circular economy, it creates “circular solutions” for waste streams that only have linear solutions.
TerraCycle reverse engineers’ “planned obsolescence” (one time-use and toss). A virtuous cycle is created between brands (which finance these recycling programmes), retailers (who sell the products and benefit from in-store collection programs sponsored by the brands), consumers, who participate in the programmes and who patronise the companies that subsidise recycling of their products and packaging.
TerraCycle is a mission- driven company with a for- profit structure. Its goal is to eliminate the idea of waste by demonstrating the economic and environmental values of reuse, upcycling, and recycling used products and materials. Over the next five years, TerraCycle plans to expand the company and its circular economy efforts from 24 to 40 countries, and to greatly increase the number of waste streams that TerraCycle collects and recycles.
Increasingly, the company’s customers (some of the world’s largest consumer products companies) are looking to establish long-term, global recycling programmes for their waste that is otherwise non-recyclable. TerraCycle’s perspective is that the world is moving in the direction of a circular economy, perhaps because it is a global imperative, but also because of the important work the World Economic Forum and other institutions are doing to promote the concept of circularity and emulation of nature.