REUSED: The plastic waste is melted into hard pellets to be used in the manufacture of new products such as this raised vegetable bed (below)

WHILE local authorities around New Zealand are no longer accepting any types of plastic waste except those classified numbers one and two, one international organisation still offers Eastern Bay people recycling options for a limited range of other products.

TerraCycle has just launched a new incentive to New Zealanders to recycle soft plastics through its partnership with Glad, makers of plastic clingwrap, zipper bags and food-storage containers.

The competition will see two collectors win $1000 for themselves as well as an equivalent donation for the school or charity of their choice.

TerraCycle was founded in the United States in 2001 and has been active in New Zealand for five years. It works by partnering with brands that want to offer their consumers a recycling solution for their products, says Daria Romanos, the company’s public relations and marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand.

“The brands sponsor the recycling programmes and decide which waste streams we will accept for collection. Anyone wishing to recycle those items simply has to sign up online, start collecting at home and then print off a free shipping label from their TerraCycle account.

“Additionally, collectors can earn points for every shipment over a certain quantity, which they can then donate to the school or charity of their choice.

“All the waste gets shipped to our warehouse in New Zealand, where we store it until we have enough tonnage to process it. Once this happens, we partner with vendors who sort, wash, shred and then melt it down into hard pellets to be used in the manufacture of new products as an alternative to virgin plastic.

“Ideally, we will partner with local recycling facilities to process the waste. However, if we can’t source one locally then we will ship the waste to our team in the States who have all the technology to recycle every waste stream.”

Daria says another option for recyclers is to drop off the waste at a public drop-off points. Though the Eastern Bay currently only has a collection point for one product they collect, Nespresso coffee capsules, she says the company would be open to any keen recycler wanting to create one. “They could be an individual, a school, a business or a council building.”

What is TerraCycle?

TERRACYCLE was founded in the United States by idealistic entrepreneur Tom Szaky. It has since grown into a global leader in collecting and repurposing hard-to-recycle waste, operating in 21 countries, engaging over 50 million people, and recycling billions of pieces of waste through various innovative platforms. To learn more about TerraCycle or get involvedwith its recycling programmes, visit
www.terracycle.co.nz.

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