I Don’t Endorse Smokers, I Just Clean Up After Them
Terracycle has been criticized for collecting—and recycling—the packaging for less-than-healthy products. Now how’s that fair?
We live in a disposable, one-time-use, convenience-obsessed world, and that means a lot of food comes pre-packaged. From a bag of chips to a frozen healthy-choice dinner, most of our food is packaged in multiple layers. Almost all of the packaging is non-recyclable, and a lot of the contents are less than healthy. TerraCycle collects and recycles much of this non-recyclable packaging with innovative solutions that weren’t previously available.
However, because eco-conscious consumers are often also health-conscious consumers we are sometimes criticized for collecting the packaging for less-than-healthy products.
TerraCycle’s position is simple: we collect and solve all non-recyclable waste, regardless of the nutritional or social merits of the product. We are waste solution experts, not nutrition experts.
Chip bags and candy wrappers? Of course we collect ‘em. We’ve saved tens of millions of packages from going into the landfill, and people were enjoying Lay’s and M&Ms long before TerraCycle existed.
Cigarette butts? Absolutely. Smoking is nasty, but have you ever looked (really looked) at the amount of cigarette butts in the U.S.? There are 400 million cigarette butts on the side of the road in Texas alone.
We start solving cigarette butts nationally next year, and our mission continues to be focused on providing a sustainable end-of-life solution for ALL waste.
We didn’t create America’s (and the world’s) consumption or food habits–we’re just trying to find innovative ways to clean them up.