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Special edition: Sustainable packaging

TerraCycle’s packaging sustainability drive lands a starring role on TV

TerraCycle, a company promoting food and beverage packaging sustainability and recycling, will be the star of an upcoming TV show.
TerraCycle, a company promoting food and beverage packaging sustainability and recycling, will be the star of an upcoming TV show.

The company’s efforts to boost packaging recycling rates, and increase packaging and manufacturing sustainability, will be the center of a program on the Pivot network.

Recycle Across America and Participant Media have joined forces on a social-action campaign, Recycle Right, to revitalize global recycling, and increase the economic benefits and rates of sustainable packaging. The television program, entitled “Human Resources,” details TerraCycle’s mission to eliminate packaging waste on a global scale.

Promoting sustainability

TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky founded the company as a student at Princeton University and has grown the firm to a national-presence company working with Mars, Tom’s of Maine, and other high-profile brands. He told FoodProductionDaily increasing packaging sustainability is a global concern, involving consumers everywhere.

We can’t sit idle knowing that millions of tons of valuable recyclable materials, which are easy to convert into new products and packaging, are going to waste every year,” he said. “Which one of us wants to throw billions of dollars and our environmental well-being into landfills? That’s what we’re doing if we’re not recycling right.”

Szaky added “Human Resources” will showcase the ways in which TerraCycle works to promote material conservation, packaging reuse, and other ways to increase packaging sustainability.

At TerraCycle, every day we’re proving even the most undesirable and traditionally non-recyclable materials can have a new purpose and can be valuable,” he said.

Recycling education

The Recycle Right campaign offers informational videos, tips, ideas such as as standardized recycling labels, and other ways to get consumers correctly recycling. Also, the drive is intended increase the amount of quality raw recycled materials available to be used by manufacturers looking to lessen their environmental footprint.

One target area of the campaign: broadening the use of standardized recycling labels to help eliminate confusion in curbside recycling programs. Organizers plan to double the use of standardized labels used in US recycling programs by the end of 2014 to 1m.

Worldwide waste is expected to double by 2025, and with the US being the largest producer of waste in the world, it is imperative we address this issue today,” said Recycle Across America executive director Mitch Hedlund. “It’s not just waste that’s doubling; it’s the use of finite natural resources and generation of excessive CO2 that will also double.”

Human Resources will premiere August 8 on the television network Pivot. 

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