Earlier this year, CBC News revealed that here in Toronto, 26% of our recycling is contaminated (compared to say, 4.6% in Vancouver). A contaminated product–a jar that hasn’t been completely rinsed, for example–can deem an entire bag of recycling unusable, meaning despite good intentions, landfills are often the final destination. Sigh.
This is even more problematic when you consider that in January, China—the world’s biggest importer of recyclable materials—announced a new set of stipulations banning imports of paper with more than 0.5% contamination. It’s a standard that most North American cities have found impossible to achieve and has left many with a serious garbage problem. All the while we’re bombarded with news that the world’s waters are filling with plastic and it’s even been predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.
When you take in all of these factors, it’s impossible not to feel disheartened about the process of recycling. So when brands take a stand to improve and simplify the—often flawed—process, it’s a step in the right direction. Eos, most well known for their spherical lip balms but who also make shaving creams, and body lotions, recently partnered up with TerraCycle to do just that.
TerraCycle is a waste management company that works with companies, retailers, cities and facilities to find other uses for hard-to-recycle items. This includes repurposing trash like used diapers or cigarette butts and turning them into things like park benches and picnic tables.
While Eos products are technically already recyclable, mixed plastic packaging often ends up in landfills due to its high recycling costs. To avoid this, TerraCycle wants consumers to send their empty packaging straight to them. By signing up on their website, you’ll be able to download a free UPS shipping label. Fill up a box or envelope with your Eos empties, attach the printed label and rest easy with the knowledge that your plastic is being repurposed. Also, with every pound of Eos product shipped, participants will earn $1 of donation money to give to the school or non-profit of their choice. In the past 15 years, TerraCycle has donated more than $25 million.