During these strange socially distanced times, many of us have been tempted by comfort foods like chocolate bars and crisps, but, with our regular recycling bins unable to take such plastic wrappers and packets, it can be frustrating to have to throw them away. However, one of our Student Wellbeing Ambassadors, Masters student Georgie Sherrard, has shared with us some advice about how the Terracycle scheme she is involved in could help with plastic items not taken by kerbside collections:
Terracycle is a global company that provides a recycling solution for hard-to-recycle items (mostly plastic) not usually accepted in a council kerbside collection. It washes, shreds and makes into pellets, or melts and re-moulds, the plastic sent, saving it from incineration or landfill.
It is not financially viable for councils to recycle all types of plastic, but Terracycle overcomes this by partnering with large companies, such as Hovis, Nestle, Garnier, Walkers, Colgate etc, who sponsor various recycling programmes. Businesses, schools or individuals can sign up to these programmes, collect waste from the local community and send it to Terracycle in exchange for points. Points equate to funds for the collector’s chosen charities.
Due to the partners’ investment in the process, they decide what is and what isn’t accepted in each waste programme, so the details of each are very specific. Recycling programmes include: crisp packets, confectionery wrappers, snack food packaging (including all plastic multi-pack outers), toothbrushes, pet and baby food pouches, writing instruments (pens, biros etc), and many more.
There are collection points all over the country.
How to get involved:
- Go to the website: terracycle.co.uk
- Click on the link to ‘See all of our free and purchasable recycling solutions’.
- Then click on ‘Free Recycling Programmes’ (www.terracycle.com/en-GB/brigades)
- Find the programme/s that accepts the waste that you want to recycle.
- Click on the Accepted Waste Poster for that programme to find out exactly what can be accepted.
- Click on the map within that programme to find a collector local to you.
- Start collecting your waste. Make sure that all product remnants are emptied, but nothing requires washing apart from pet food pouches.
- Drop recycling with your collector when it’s convenient for you (note, not all collectors collect for all waste programmes, so you may end up taking crisp packets to one and toothbrushes to another).
- Feel satisfied that you are not only keeping plastic waste out of landfill, but you are also helping to raise money for charity!
Please note: Some collectors are specific about how they like you to collect for them, so it might be worth getting in touch with them before your first drop-off. For example, some like waste from the different streams to be separated, and some prefer crisp packets to be folded.
One local drop-off point, collecting a number of different waste streams, has a Facebook group, ‘Terracycle Worcester Recycling.’ You can join for information and advice if required.
Student Wellbeing Champion
Student Support & Wellbeing Service