Saturday, 24 August 2013

Terra-ble

Terracycle is a recycling company that turns used confectionary wrappers into other products. Terracycle NZ was launched a couple of months ago to the excitement of many members of the green community in the country. Now while this might have looked like a great idea at first glance, I felt very uneasy about this initiative from the start.

My concern that it actually supports plastic manufacturing by not discouraging consumers to avoid it (it in facts rewards them with a financial incentive) was confirmed by a recent letter I received from Mondelez International, who are responsible for Cadbury's, Pascall, and The Natural Confectionary Company.

I returned some plastic packaging to them (from the packaging drop during Plastic Free July) with a letter suggesting they repackage their goods in an environmentally friendly way. Their reply stated that The Natural Confectionary Company is "committed to environmental responsibility and as such has formed an innovative partnership with Terracycle...[which] allows consumers to return their used packaging to Terracycle". 

This suggests to me that this manufacturer, and any others in 'partnership' with Terracycle can now tick an obligatory environment box. It has not only removed the responsibility they should own for producing environmentally harmful goods, but it in fact gives them a mandate to continue. 

Recycling is a good tool, but it is not an answer to our increasing plastic problem. It certainly should not be used to justify plastic production.

I would be interested in hearing other thoughts about this or similar initiatives.
Merren

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I use TerraCycle. I've never thought about it from this perspective.

    ReplyDelete