Last updated on February 1, 2024.
For Christmas, I asked for a TerraCycle Toys Zero Waste box. They’re almost $100, so I didn’t expect that I’d actually get one, but I did (and thank you)!
I was super excited because in 2017 I’d signed up for a free broken toy recycling program through TerraCycle, sponsored by Tom’s of Maine. I sent what I had but for the next full year, I saved every broken toy I found. I asked friends to give me their broken toys too. However, Tom’s of Maine stopped sponsoring this program in 2018. I emailed them to ask why, and they responded that they had “decided not to re-run this promotion” with no further details.
I was disappointed. By then I had a huge box of broken toys, and I continued to add to the box, refusing to throw them in a landfill. So I added the TerraCycle Toys Zero Waste Box to my Christmas list.
Receiving my box
Since the box is meant to be placed in an area for collection, such as at an office or a daycare center, it is equipped with handles on the sides, perforations at the top to drop items in, and a plastic bag inside.
I removed the plastic bag because it was preventing me from being able to fit everything (and I did repurpose that bag as well). I asked my husband, who is a master at packing, to assist because I was having trouble fitting everything, including that plastic green bat. We were able to fit 95% of it.
The few items that didn’t fit I placed in a bin in my garage, marked “Plastic Recycling.” It contains plastic items that are not normally recyclable. I plan to save up for an All-In-One Zero Waste Box from TerraCycle.
Ready to ship
The whole process was easy, including shipment. The purchase of the box includes the cost of shipping and comes with the label already on it. So I dropped it off at FedEx! It felt good to ship those items off after having collected and saved them for so long.
Thoughts on TerraCycle
I admire this company, its mission, and its founder. I like that they take non-recyclable items and make them into cool, useful, new products. I am grateful that they are creating great, visionary, and intelligent solutions!
While TerraCycle is only a small percentage of recycling options, you can purchase zero-waste boxes on their website. There are many types and sizes available. It is costly, but sometimes we have to pay now or pay environmentally later. Remember, we can all be the change in small ways.
You can also participate in their free programs by signing up through their website. I’ve participated in several of the free programs including contact lens product recycling; Brita filter recycling; and oral care products recycling. I had to save those things up for a long time, but I have a designated shelf in my garage for such items. I label bins with the name of the recycling or donation program. You can make a designated space too!
But recycling is not the answer
It helps, sure, but Refusing certain products made of plastic and/or sold in plastic packaging is the key. We all must refuse these items, reduce the use of what we cannot refuse, and then recycle. So recycling should be the third option.
Only 9% of our plastics are actually recycled! That means 91% of our plastics are NOT recycled.
I love TerraCycle because it is a step in the right direction. However, using their programs does not discourage consumers from buying plastic products. In turn, it does not send the message to the corporations that they need to alter their plastic production and packaging.
So keep trying to REFUSE. Use TerraCycle and similar programs when you can’t refuse.
I hope this was informative and I would love to hear about your experiences with TerraCycle recycling, or how you’ve stopped buying certain plastic items. Thanks for reading!