Turn waste into fashion or gadgets

An American company which recycles plastics into useful objects like bags and phone cases has already recruited almost 30,000 people since launching in the UK.

TerraCycle UK works on an ‘upcycling’ method and has been running in the US for more than four years.

The UK branch of the firm has been going for just eight months and has partnerships with Kenco, Tassimo and Ella’s Kitchen and has also recruited more than 27,000 people to turn their waste into goods.

The firm takes items from the companies, which would have gone to landfill, and transforms them into iPod docking stations or handbags.

UK managing director Chris Baker explains this is seven times the success rate of the first USA sponsored waste campaign run by TerraCycle, which launched four years ago and now has 10M people collecting.

Mr Baker explains: “At TerraCycle UK currently we are on a very big mission to take the upcycling programs, given the positive response from UK households.

“It’s encouraging, throughout Europe and continue to collect different waste streams to substantially grow the amount of waste we save from landfill – we will have five new waste streams and open in Europe before 2010 is over.”

The company estimates it has saved more than 3.6M pieces of non-recyclable from going to landfill in the past eight months.

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Luke Walsh

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