TerraCycle was founded in 2001 with the goal of eliminating waste. The process starts by offering national collect programs (called brigades) to collect non-recyclable or hard to recycle waste and then convert the collected waste into a wide range of products and materials. There are currently about 33 brigades available that range from drink pouches to energy bars to tortilla bags. Most of the brigades are free to participate in because TerraCycle and partnering companies pay the shipping costs when you send your collection back. As an added incentive to collect, for every unit of waste you send to TerraCycle, you will receive at least $0.02 to a charity or school of your choice.
Manufacturers like Kraft Foods are continuing to expand their involvement in the TerraCycle program. Kraft Foods previously offered programs for its Capri Sun, Nabisco and Lunchables products, and has recently added cheese packaging. The cheese packaging the program accepts includes Kraft Naturals, Philadelphia, Philly, Athenos, Kraft Singles, macaroni and cheese, Easy Mac, Cracker Barrel, Polly-O, Breakstone, Velveeta and Knudsen.
This program seems to recognize that manufacturers will have restrictions when it comes to packaging due to food safety, cost, consumer and storage needs, and more. Thankfully, TerraCycle has developed a unique program that allows those manufacturers to reduce their negative environmental impact.