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85% less plastic, but harder to recycle... Terracycle/Carex

(8 Posts)
SkepticalCat Wed 05-Aug-20 17:47:07

I've just bought an eco refill pouch of Carex handwash, which proudly states on the packaging that it is 85% less plastic than the equivalent four normal bottles of Carex. Brilliant!

However, the refill pouch can only be recycled using the Terracycle scheme. The closest one to me being a 30 minute round trip by car, only accessible for 90 minutes on a Sunday (the collection point appears to be in a church).

The "eco" pouch will probably end up going into my normal rubbish and landfill.

Whereas the normal Carex bottles (with so much more plastic) are widely accepted for recycling and I can just put them in my recycling bin for doorstep collection once a fortnight.

I looked into the Terracycle scheme, but it seems only certain packaging/items is accepted in certain locations. For example, I wouldn't necessarily be able to recycle crisp packets, contact lens blister packs and cheese wrappers at the same drop-off point.

Not quite sure what point I'm making, other than that for things to be truly green/eco friendly then this type of Terracycle recycling scheme needs to be much more accessible. Collection points in all supermarkets over a certain size for example.

And I know the best thing is to reduce the amount of plastics we consume. I use bar soap and solid shampoo/conditioner bars, and I am actively trying to reduce the amount of plastic packaging coming into the house, but my DS is diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and OCD and will only use liquid soap, so I buy it for him.

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sleepyhead Wed 05-Aug-20 17:51:46

Could you encourage a local org or business to apply to become a collection point?

Our local church is one (has an outdoors collection point so more accessible for us thankfully). It's the only one for miles and makes a good chunk of change out of it. I dont know why more places havent signed up for it.

SkepticalCat Wed 05-Aug-20 18:15:01

I guess that is probably the only way. But if it takes individuals to lobby local businesses/organisations to set up collection points, then this way of recycling is never going to be as easy as just chucking the packaging in the bin or continuing to use the more plastic-heavy packaging.

I guess I want companies who make these products to take more responsibility. Simply saying "recycle with Terracycle" when it's not a particularly accessible scheme is washing their hands (ha!) of the problem.

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Nunyabusiness Wed 05-Aug-20 18:17:24

Oh no! I bought the carex refills as they were on offer so super duper cheap compared to new bottles of hand wash, I hadn't even checked the packaging for recycling info yet as we've not finished one yet - ours will also end up in the bin 😩

sleepyhead Wed 05-Aug-20 18:18:59

I totally agree - we recycle HP ink cartridges using the freepost envelopes they send us which I think is a good model.

I would hope small businesses would see an opportunity for having a terracycle bin on the premises to allow people to drop off easily but it seems to be really slow to catch on which suggests manufacturers need to be more proactive in closing the loop.

Vinorosso74 Wed 05-Aug-20 19:05:22

With pet food pouches a lot of animal shelters take them and send them off to help raise funds but they tend to be purely pet food packaging.
That said it doesn't hurt to ask any local to you if they would accept other stuff. One polite request make sure the packaging is clean and dry. The stench and mould on pouches people send in can be horrendous.

modgepodge Wed 05-Aug-20 19:33:21

Thing is, a lot of recycling that is collected ends up in landfill anyway. There was a documentary on the BBC a few months back and it gets shipped abroad for processing and sometimes isn’t recycling. So, if it helps, the bottles you would have bought may have ended up in landfill so at least you’re sending less than before?!

A primary school near me collects terracycle for Fund raising. Could you encourage your children’s/ a local school to do this which solves your problem and hopefully raises some money?

SkepticalCat Wed 05-Aug-20 20:04:14

Thank you. Yes, I suppose school might be the way to go.

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