TerraCycle: Recycling won’t solve the waste dilemma, but consumers can

Improving economic incentives behind waste collection models and a “silent revolution” in how consumers interact with products will be essential in tackling “monumental environmental crises”, all of which can be linked back to waste.

edie.com is reporting the view of developer TerraCycle’s chief executive Tom Szaky, who claimed that the world “can’t recycle it’s way out of waste” and instead called on individuals to tweak shopping habits in order to promote durable and used products.

The TerraCycle founder claimed that a product’s biggest environmental impact is the extraction of virgin materials used to create it. With recycling systems floundering in some countries and markets, Szaky called on consumers to change shopping habits to purchase durable products in closed-loop systems.

Speaking to the World Economic Forum (WEC) during a live Facebook webinar on Friday, Szaky said: “One of the key aspects in creating a circular model around waste is fulfilling the baseline goals for an organisation. For retailers this is consumerism.

“We show that if you promote recycling platforms around waste then you will drive consumerism. We can’t recycle our way out of waste. We need change our buying habits to support durable goods, used goods and ideally not buying whatsoever.”

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