We try so hard to be responsible and only buy things that come in recyclable containers and packaging. But what do you do with the hard to recycle stuff or the things no one will take?
I found this great company, Terracycle, that is trying to eliminate the whole idea of waste. They are signing people up to collect anything from pens to juice boxes to candy wrappers to cork to cell phones to key boards and back again. They pay for you to ship it to them and then they “upcycle it” (turn it into a cool new product or material).
Here’s an example of a cool upcycling project. Terracycle created the Drink Pouch Brigade. They collected over 50 million drink pouches and turned them into upscale items like tote bags and Christmas tree skirts. Over a million dollars from the sale of those items went to schools, charities, and nonprofits. Not bad.
In 2010 Terracycle set up what they called a “pop shop” in New York City’s Port Authority – a place where anyone could drop off hard to recycle items and buy upcycled items. That is spreading some goodwill!