Target: Tom Szaky, Founder of TerraCycle
Goal: Applaud first step in efforts to eliminate all waste
The United States is getting increasingly efficient with recycling as municipalities have worked to make it incredibly easy to recycle. Some towns do not make residents separate the plastic from the paper; there are machines who can do that instead. However, with all the increases in recycling, we still throw out quite a lot of garbage. Tom Szaky, the founder of TerraCycle, is hoping to change that outlook. He is looking towards a future in which we eliminate waste altogether.
Popular belief still seems to postulate that to eliminate waste, we almost have to eliminate consumption. Of course, in today’s world, that is wholly unrealistic. Szaky has taken the opportunity to recycle everything. Anything that is not biodegradable, he and his colleagues at TerraCycle look for a way that they can recycle and repurpose it – even diapers and chip bags. Founded in 2001, TerraCycle is now considered one of the most innovative and sustainable recycling businesses.
The process begins when consumers collect a large amount of waste. Schools collect their empty milk cartons, businesses will keep all their empty coffee containers. They are then able to freely send it to one of the TerraCycle offices. TerraCycle then turns the waste into products that people can buy in department stores or on the web. Turning waste into marketable products allows everyone to feel like they are a part of the process of eliminating waste. Additionally, TerraCycle helps major companies employ similar ideas — enabling them to waste less and use their finite resources more effectively.
Therefore, we want to thank Mr. Szaky for creating a business based on the principle that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Please sign the petition to let him know that the efforts of TerraCycle are not only vital in and of themselves, but are also setting a precedent to others that waste is not a necessary part of consumption.
Dear Mr. Szaky,
Recycling efforts in the United States — and throughout the developed world — are great. People recycle much more as of late, and are getting better all the time. We are writing to you for taking it to the extreme by figuring out a way to recycle everything. Additionally, we want to thank you for making cool products which help make recycling chic.
We hope that others follow your lead.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Terra cycle via Wikimedia Commons