Waste & Resource Recovery

P&G and TerraCycle giving back to schools and charities with new recycling program

In a bid to address Australia’s waste management issues, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has teamed up with TerraCycle to launch the country’s first national Dish and Air Care Recycling Program, which will be giving 2 cents for each item recycled to a designated school or charity aligned with the program.

The partnership encourages all individuals and households to join their ambitious recycling programs, whose global partnership aims to reduce all global waste from single-use plastics through upcycling of everyday product packaging.

“At P&G, we are committed to not only designing superior products, but also making a positive difference and encouraging responsible consumption of our brands. Consumers want more than just great performing products, they want to know that the products they purchase come from a responsible company,” said Vivek Gupta, vice-president and managing director, P&G Australia and New Zealand.

“This program is a first for Australia but continues a global partnership between P&G and TerraCycle. Our goal is to increase recyclability of our packaging and TerraCycle offers an innovative new recycling solution for Australian consumers. As one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world, we feel a responsibility to do the right thing and we’re committed to doing our part.

“Globally we are making significant progress in each area of P&G’s Citizenship work, including Environmental Sustainability. Last year, we announced P&G’s 2030 environmental sustainability goals which aim to enable and inspire positive impact while creating value for the Company, our partners, and consumers.

“We have been leading in environmental sustainability for decades, we’ve met many of our 2020 goals ahead of schedule, and we want to continue that progress as we know it is the right thing to do and it is what our consumers want.”

Through the Dish & Air Care Recycling Program, Australians can now collect and ship all brands of dishcare products and air fresheners free-of-charge to TerraCycle, who will shred, wash and melt them down into raw materials to be used as an alternative to virgin plastic. The program will convert all brands of empty dishcare and aircare products – including bottles, soft plastics and air fresheners.

Each unit of dish and air packaging that people send to TerraCycle can be redeemed for a payment of 2 cents to the non-profit organisation or school of their choice through the program.

“Our goal is to have as many consumers on board as possible and right now, our focus is to further raise awareness in order to get the message out there. We are calling on schools, charities, businesses and consumers to sign up and participate in the program,” said Jean Bailliard, TerraCycle managing director.

“It is an entirely free service for consumers to recycle all brands of air care and dish care products. Consumers can start collecting their waste in a box, which once full, can be sent off to our Melbourne warehouse to be sorted and recycled into plastic pellets to be made into outdoor products. Consumers can request for a free Australia Post return shipping label on the program website.

“From there, we will give 2 cents for every item collected in a participants’ TerraCycle account, which can then be given to a school or charity of their choosing. It is a way to incentivise consumers and to thank them for recycling with us. They can download resource guides on our program page to help them with their collections.

“We currently have about 26 schools participating in this program, about eight not-for-profits, a major Australian retailer at their office, and an estimated 25,000 consumers. In Australia we have about 18,000 collection teams, which represents about 800,000 consumers participating in our programs. Globally, we’ve already diverted 7.7 billion pieces of waste and raised $44 million for charity.”

This initiative extends on TerraCycle’s programs for recycling materials that are not accepted into kerbside recycling, such as beauty products, toothbrushes and cigarette butts. The waste collected will be converted into plastics that are made into items such as garden edging and playground equipment (See example of P&G in the UK above).

“We understand that consumers and stakeholders increasingly expect more of the companies they invest in and want to know that they are doing the right thing. By making a positive impact across all areas of our Citizenship agenda, we believe consumers and shareholders will reward us with their business and that in turn drives growth,” Gupta said.

“Sustainability is now part of all business plan reviews. It can no longer be an afterthought and our leaders are now incorporating this into their business strategies. We also need to continue to educate our employees on the importance of environmental sustainability as they will be the future leaders of our industry.

“We’ve made progress working with these and other groups on ways to increase plastic recycling, educate consumers on proper disposal, and reduce the amount of plastic in our packaging, yet we know there is more work to do.

“One of our Ambition 2030 goals is that 100% of our packaging will be recyclable or reusable – and we are well on the way to achieving that and have strong, ongoing efforts to further increase recyclability.

“We also recently announced that P&G would be one of almost 30 major global companies forming ‘The Alliance to End Plastic Waste’, which will work to develop and bring to scale solutions to minimise and manage plastic waste, as well as promote solutions such as reusing, recovering and recycling.”