Earlier this year, TerraCycle announced a new program to finally answer the recycling and reusing issues plaguing society today. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, the company revealed its Loop Reuse Program. The program will deliver items to your house in reusable packaging, and the only thing you have to do is use the products and have the empty containers picked up and refilled.
No cleaning or disinfecting necessary on your part. Use, return, repeat.
Founded on the idea of circular processes rather than linear ones, focusing on recycling and reusing products was the company's next mission. In an effort to not only change the current mindset about reusing packaging, but to also streamline the effort, the company has closed the loop in the world of e-commerce shopping.
A number of companies have signed on as partners in the program, including Danone, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and UPS. The system is simple to use. Simply order the items you want and wait for them to be delivered by UPS in a durable tote bag instead of in boxes, since most of the time, they are not properly recycled. Once you're done, just place the empty containers back into the tote bag and wait for it to be picked up – for free – and receive a refill. The company will hygienically clean the containers, made of recyclable packaging like alloys and glass, and sends them back. In a constant loop, hence the name of the program, the company strives to eliminate single-use packaging.
Moreover, the service will enhance the shopping opportunity so what more could we want?
Product offerings from the above parent companies includes Pantene, Febreze, Gillette, and Always from P&G; Häagen-Dazs ice cream from Nestlé that will come in an aluminum container to ensure the best product possible; and Dove, Degree, and Hellman's products are being offered by Unilever.
Unilever CEO Alan Jope hopes this program "puts an end to the current 'take-make-dispose' culture" and works "towards designing products for re-use."
I, for one, cannot wait for the service to be unveiled in Illinois. I've already started taking small steps to reduce my waste from using reusable straws and coffee tumblers, to reusing plastic bags as garbage bags, I'm ready to make a bigger impact. As a skeptic of where the recycling bins truly end up, especially in a city like Chicago, TerraCycle's Loop program will put those worries to bed.