2012 - The World's First Recycling Programme for Cigarette Waste
2012 was another record year for TerraCycle. It marked the 9th straight year of revenue growth as well as the launch of the world’s first recycling programme for one of the most commonly littered items on the planet – cigarette butts. After launching the programme in Canada in May, it was quickly expanded to the US and Spain with help from Santa Fe Natural Tobacco and British American Tobacco, respectively. The collected cigarette butts are recycled into plastic pellets and used to make industrial products like shipping pallets.
With help from over 40 million dedicated Brigade participants around the world, TerraCycle reached the major milestones of over 2.5 billion pieces of waste diverted from landfills and over $6 million donated to schools and charities. In 2012, TerraCycle launched 14 new Brigade programmes to collect everything from deodorant tubes to coffee capsules to baby bottles with help from companies like Tom’s of Maine and Blédina.
In 2012, TerraCycle continued its international expansion by launching operations in Turkey with Colgate, in Hungary with Milka and Puerto Rico with Tang. The company now collects and recycles waste in 22 countries. The TerraCycle Budapest office, home to TerraCycle’s IT team, and our management hub for Eastern Europe was also launched.
The Chip in for Change pilot programme in Hamilton, NJ – our first township wide collection drive - increased chip bag recycling in the town by over 300 percent. The UK Coffee Packaging Brigade, TerraCycle’s first public drop location programme also launched. Here participating drop off locations such as supermarkets, coffee shops, charity shops, community centres are all visible on a map / via a post code search facility.
In Argentina, the Bicibus, a bicycle-powered bus made from used Tang pouches made headlines nationwide. Pepsico installed TerraCycle collection bins in its Mexico City and Monterrey offices and Walmart shoppers in Brazil were able to drop off toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and other oral care waste to be recycled through the Colgate Brigade.
TerraCycle CEO, Tom Szaky was recognised as a business visionary in a documentary from Adrian Granier’s SHFT production company and TerraCycle was featured in a USA Today cover story, two Associated Press articles, and two 20/20 segments. The company also won several major awards including the UN Leader of Social Change Award, a CSR Award for Recycling Programmes and was a finalist in the Sustain Magazine awards for sustainability in the UK.