• Terracycle
  • Crisp Packets
  • TerraCycle Beauty Programme
  • Spontex Glove TerraCycle Programme
  • Ella Baby Food Recycling Programme
  • Colgate Oral Care.
  • Hasbro Toy Recycling Programme

It all started with my rescue Beagle. Her painful howl and hobble were awful to watch when she cut her paw for the 3rd time on discarded litter.  After the Vet visit, I sat with her trying to calm down her anxiety shakes. I stroked her soft fur and my tears were dropping onto her shiny coat.

I was cross! I cursed the youngsters that left the litter in the park and the council’s lack of engagement. I blamed government for being too soft. At that point a thought came racing through my mind – maybe I can do something. I went out armed with a plastic bag and litter picked the whole field. It felt good, not to mention that I as an individual I was making a difference.

     I finally took of the rose-tinted glasses off my face and saw the truth. The litter was everywhere – I was ‘litter blind’. Then onwards I litter picked each walk. Not to mention that most of the litter I pick up is recyclable under the TerraCycle programs.

What are those programs and how does it work? TerraCycle joins in partnership with large corporations who pay TerraCycle to manage their waste. The large corporation then pays for the recycling and TerraCycle turns it into funds for the charity. Let’s start with the ‘Walker’s Program. Walkers, a large crisp manufacturer, agreed to pay for one large shipment of crisp packets (any brand) from a collector such as myself. I collect a volume of any brand crisp packets into a box that weighs more than 8Kg and is not larger than 50x60x60 cm. It however must only be crisp packets not anything resembling the same material! I post maximum of 3 of boxes (one large shipment) a month so I can receive funds paid directly to the charity linked to my TerraCycle account.

     At the moment I have 2 main charities listed – Canine Partners (https://caninepartners.org.uk/) and Hedgehog Bottom (https://www.hedgehog-rescue.org.uk/). Both are non-government funding charities in much need to support. Though bear in mind that it must be a registered charity! You can’t get funds paid into ‘Gigolo for the Elderly charity’ or ‘Year supply of booze for Margaret charity’.  

Teracycle is a recycling firm that offer free recycling programmes which is funded by brands, manufacturers and retailers around the world, to help you collect and recycle your hard-to-recycle waste. It allows you to choose the programs you’d like to join; start collecting in your home, school, or office; download free shipping labels; and send them your waste to be recycled and even earn rewards for your school or favourite non-profit. Some recycling programmes are free to join, others offer boxes that can be purchased in various sizes.

Surprisingly the most weight I collect in recycling for all the programs I am listed for it is the crisp packet recycling that is the worst polluter.

Yep that little one tiny light, shiny pack filled up with flavoured salty snack is the worst offender. Only in 2019 when I began this recycling journey, I managed to collect 673.8kg of crisp packets alone! Yup that’s more than half a tonne. Considering that all recycling together last year I collected well over 2022.4kg of waste, the crisp packet part is a huge chunk in weight and that’s not to mention that heavy items like used toothpaste and toothbrushes aren’t touching the tip of the crisp packet weight mountain!

     Only this year, considering the current situation with lockdown and having been shut for most of the year, the crisp packets volume is already at 400kg (up to today). That is shocking so let’s keep sending these little snack polluters back to the manufacturer’s, so they have to pay for its recycling!

    So, the crisp packet programs I am on about are the Walker and KP program. Walker’s program accepts any brand of crisp packets but wont take nut, popcorn or pretzel packaging. However, the KP program accepts all brand of crisp packets as well as popcorn, pretzel and nut packaging. So, it is this easy, if you do get any potato-based snack or popcorn, nuts or pretzel, as long as its plastic you drop it all off to me to sort into the walkers/KP box. Please bear in mind that sadly as none of these manufacturers do make meat type snacks, though very similar packaging, they aren’t accepted and hence if dropped off would make my life harder in trying to pull them out and bin anyway. So, if its meaty don’t put them in.

     Overtime, you get used to what is taken and what’s not but if in doubt get in touch! I am sure that as we are only humans there are sometimes mishaps like the bag of crisp packets from an old folks’ home that had some 50s hair curlers, or the desperate mums drop off who was just puzzled for 3 days as she couldn’t find her sons football shorts.

Its shocking how quickly the time goes. Its already one week ago since I told you about the lovely TerraCycle Beauty program. Today, I am here to talk about another program and that’s the home cleaning product / dishwasher products recycling scheme.

     It’s not one program but two. One is called the ‘Air and Home Scheme’ and the other is the ‘RB recycling scheme’. For those keen to help, if you can separate per scheme, it that would be helpful. I do understand if you rather keep them together as it’s hard to remember what belongs to which scheme.

     The RB Hygiene home recycling scheme takes the following waste – any fragrance plastic sleeves, stain remover powder packaging, home cleaning wipe packaging (NOT THE WIPES), any cleaning product refill packaging, dishwasher cleaner and freshener outer packaging, dishwashing salt bags and any dishwashing tablet packaging.

     The Air and home and laundry program takes any plastic air freshener containers and their plastic caps and any plastic car air fresheners plug ins (not the glass), wipes packaging is also accepted under this program as its on RB hygiene scheme as well as tinted rigid plastic tubs used for home cleaning. As well as the RB program washing tablet capsule packaging is taken under this scheme with the dishwasher tablet packaging. Under this scheme I also take the pumps from top of cleaning product spray bottles.

due to the current situation there has been increase requirement to recycle single use gloves. In the Spontex Glove TerraCycle program I can recycle any brand of disposable gloves made of latex, polyethylene, Vynil and nitrile.

     What isn’t accepted is any reusable gloves such as marigolds made from rubber. Neither I can take gloves which are unhygienic or were used in mixing chemicals. I do not want to be exposed to either bodily fluids or chemicals.

     Why I decided to talk of the single use gloves scheme? Its been noted by a care home for the elderly that boxes of single use gloves went missing. After investigation they noted that they always disappear on Thursdays and at the same time one of their residents, Karen, also is missing till the early hours of the morning.

Just to make things clear, I do not take babies in for overnight care neither take your big babies (husbands) to look after. I also do not box up husbands to post to recycle.

     Now we have that covered, we can enter in explaining what is accepted. Well any brand of Baby Food plastic packaging including all the food sachet, wrappers, porridge plastic bags or yogurt pouches including their rigid plastic tops.

     Ensure that the pouch is empty and leave the top on when dropping off. It makes it easier for me to separate waste and stuff into the boxes for TerraCycle. This year only we have already sent in for recycling 62.8 Kg which is amazing considering that this would have ended up in landfill due to the difficulty of recycling such items.

     I already said that I got a pet mouse with recycling and the occasional spider or a louse. However, with Ella program I got a very useful pet which regularly helps the owner to shred the baby pouches to bits.  Surprisingly the helpful canine is only interested in shredding those meat based as the fruit and vegetable meals come untouched.

I will be introducing you to yet another TerraCycle program – the Colgate oral care. Surprisingly, there is lots more you can recycle when it comes to your daily toothbrushing routine.

     This program is amazing as you can recycle your used toothbrushes, toothbrush heads as well as empty toothpaste tubes and toothbrush product packaging. When it comes to toothbrushes, only the plastic, non-battery operated are accepted. Any battery/electronic brushes should go to a general small electrical item recycling at your local council waste management site. Still, you can drop off to have your electric toothbrush heads as these are accepted under this program.

     Any brand of toothpaste tubes is accepted. Just squeeze out all left-over toothpaste and keep the lid on – no need to wash it out. Under this program you can also recycle plastic dental floss container but not the actual floss – just its packaging. Same goes for the toothbrushes’ plastic packaging. If unsure what is and isn’t accepted, you can always check by going onto the Terracycle.co.uk / Colgate oral care recycling program internet site.

This is the Hasbro toy recycling program where any broken or whole Hasbro branded toys can be dropped off to me for recycling to raise funds for the Canine Partners Charity.

            As I hope to re-open in couple of weeks, I need to shout out to any good soul who would have access to 60x60x50 sized cardboard boxes. I am in dire need of them because that’s the maximum size box TerraCycle accepts. Please do get in touch if you usually have access to sturdy boxes you just want out of your way.

  • Ferrero Roche Recycling Scheme
  • Olio
  • TerraCycle Confectionery Recycling Programme
  • The ACUVUE® Contact Lens Recycle Programme
  • Baylis & Harding Recycling
  • Hovis

I have also joined another recycling scheme – Ferrero Roche. This scheme accepts all rigid trays, the inside and outside packaging in one lot. I do admit, I am very capable recycling the chocolate part as when I got a box for Mother’s Day it was gone within minutes.

here is this application called Olio where people can share food items to reduce the ever so growing problem of food waste. There are daily updates of people offering the food that is about to run out of date for free. There are also availabilities to share your produce or even share half of your dinner if you made too much. Same goes for a cake but you have to beat me to it – yep greedy guts like me is hawking the site for a yummy morsel from our local bake fanatic, who loves baking but just cant eat it all. I therefore provide comunity Dyson service and hoover up any left over cake and blame the app for my growing waste line. 

Still, now seriously said, it is impossible to cook for a one person household.  All food items are packed in larger volumes so its impossible not to have waste. Some people with skills might be able to offer part of their freshly cooked dinner to their elderly residents who might not have the energy to do as much. This way, together, we can reduce the food waste. The more waste we make, the more the world needs to grow and sadly the rainforrest suffers as a result, for more trees are  cut down to make space for food plantations.

This program on its own is very useful as most of these are wrapped mainly in plastic. This program accepts any plastic chocolate/sweets pouches and bags, any sweets/chocolate bar outer, multipack or individual block/bar wrappers.  

     If you are little bit like me and find yourself eating these diet crashers, at least you can feel a little bit better as you can recycle the wrapper.

    Sadly, these little wrappers appear everywhere and its little depressing seeing the empty wrappers flying about the park. This is the one item I pick the most when I am out litter picking. It makes me angry for 2 reasons – 1. It damages environment and its inhabitants and 2. It wasn’t me that had eaten it.

     Yes, I am a chocolate addict and as my husband is trying to help me to lose some weight, we aren’t allowed to have them in the house. It’s a torture when I am sorting out the recycling.  I have a full box in my garage currently full of lovely, chocolaty smelling wrappers.

TerraCycle® and ACUVUE® have partnered to create a free recycling programme for any brand of soft contact lenses and blister packs.

Find your nearest public drop-off location on the interactive map above and drop off your Baylis & Harding pumps, caps, flexible tubes and refill pouches during the opening hours.

Once collected, the bread bags are shredded, washed and then pelletized. These pellets can be used for a number of molded rigid plastic products like benches, or used as film for products such as rubbish bags