TerraCycle targets waste PPE with new boxes

Jo Francis
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

TerraCycle has introduced new ‘Zero Waste Boxes’ for PPE materials, as it bids to find a sustainable solution to the problems around PPE ending up as litter or landfill.

TerraCycle: aiming to recycle tricky objects that are now increasingly part of daily life
TerraCycle: aiming to recycle tricky objects that are now increasingly part of daily life

Perivale-based TerraCycle is a social enterprise that focuses on collecting and recycling items that are typically difficult to recycle, or that are not accepted in standard waste collection streams.

The company cited research that stated that more than a billion single-use PPE items were given out in the UK between February and the middle of April this year.

Although much PPE is being used in healthcare settings, which are not TerraCycle’s focus, the use of disposable PPE such as masks and gloves in businesses has rocketed – with printers struggling to secure supplies earlier in the year.

TerraCycle is now offering 10 different Zero Waste Boxes for the collection of PPE – including a mixed box for disposable surgical and industrial face masks and disposable gloves made of vinyl, nitrile or latex materials.

Laure Cucuron, general manager of TerraCycle Europe, commented: “We have increased our PPE Zero Waste Box offering, to provide more specific solutions for these objects which are now increasingly part of daily life.”

She said the firm was proud to be able to offer “a unique, easy and safe solution for keeping PPE waste out of landfills and from being littered, paving the way for a greener future.” 

Companies buy a box, or boxes from TerraCycle. The Zero Waste boxes for disposable masks and gloves start at £133.60 for a small box capable of holding around 520 items.

The biggest box costs £300.37 and can hold more than 2,600 items.

TerraCycle also offers discounts on larger purchases.

The boxes come with pre-paid shipping labels for return to TerraCycle when full. As a Covid-19 safety measure, TerraCycle asks that users wait 72 hours before returning the filled boxes.

The contents are then aggregated, cleaned and melted into pellets that can be used to manufacture other products, such as plastic shipping pallets.

TerraCycle’s range of PPE boxes also include containers for specific products, such as face shields, protective eye wear, and ear plugs.


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