Terracycle – Part 2 of 4: From Package to Park Bench
In my first blog post about Terracycle I discovered that there are a few different ways to recycle, and that companies are beginning to work together to keep certain types of packaging out of the landfill. In this post, I’m going to talk about some of the products Terracycle is creating as a result of these partnerships.
So what can you do with a candy wrapper; other than use it as a temporary spoon rest at your desk during lunch? If a little bit of kitsch and pop culture is your thing then a mini messenger bag made out of Starburst wrappers can be yours!
Honestly, there are a slew of products available in the Terracycle line, so to link to all of them would just be an indication of my burgeoning insanity. But here’s what stood out to me the most:
Recycling bins made out of recycled plastic: Is there truly a better reincarnation of plastics?
Flower pots: This may be better. They even offer a line of flower pots designed by urban artists from Trenton NH. The pots are made out of “E-waste”, which includes the plastic casings you find on printers and television.
Vinyl Records made into wall clocks or coasters: These are pretty neat, but your attraction to them could depend on how much of an audiophile you are. Some people may just find it too painful to look at.
Park benches: In my quick tour around the site this use for recycled chip bags (among other materials) is better than the bag of chips itself. I’m almost tempted to pick up a lunch time chip habit so I can donate to the production of these. (Good thing those mini cliff bars are more to my taste.)
What city or town wouldn’t want to try a few of these recycled park benches out to see how they hold up to the day-in/day-out abuse a park bench can get? Personally, one of those benches would look great in the front mud room. Woot! New England!
Products may catch my eye, but it’s the fact that these materials now have a second purpose that is truly appealing.
George Chevalier, who is the Sr. Publicist & Social Media Manager at Terracycle, told me that the company collects materials for their upcycled/downcycled/reuse products in a few ways.
“Brigades” are collection sites organized by private individuals who send materials to us via UPS. Terracycle will send a donation to their choice of charity for each item sent in. Then there’s pre-consumer materials which are collected directly from manufactures, and are items like chip bags with a superbowl promo on them, or older packaging that is being discontinued for use of a new logo design.
Now, the companies may have control over the kind of packaging my goodies come wrapped in, but it just warms the cockles of my little, earthy hear tot think that someday I might sit my butt on a park bench made of candy wrappers that are recycled instead of tossed in the trash.
What about those bags made out of candy wrapper though? Just how long does that keep wrapper waste out of the landfill?
Find out in Part 3 of this series where we ask George Chevalier “What’s up with that?”
If you know a company, group, or blogger that has some cool upcycling or reusing ideas, please share them in the comments section so I can feature them in a future post.