What Happens When a Reusable is No Longer Usable?


image via David Ritter

When was the last time you bought a single use water bottle? Ok, how long before that! For many of you, carrying a water bottle has become routine. And how many reusable bags do you own, and actually use? I'm guessing at least two. And your lunch, what's it get carried in? For an increasing number, it's something that isn't going in the trash when you're done.

Yes, for an increasingly wide spectrum of the population, making sustainable choices in your life is an everyday occurrence, no longer confined to hippies and environmentalists. And yet there's a problem here.Reusables are not indestructible.

What happens to that water bottle when it gets irreparably damaged? And that lunch container that now has a crack in it? That shopping bag looked great when you bought it...until the strap broke. For most reusable things out there, unless they're made of glass or aluminum, or one type of material that your local recycling services happens to process, there's nowhere for them to go but the dump or your attic, unless you happen to have a welding torch or be handy at sewing.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Ever heard of a little company called Ziploc? You know, the one that you probably own several of their products in your kitchen? Well TerraCycle is doing its part to make new home for reusables that would otherwise be useless, by collecting all Ziploc products. All of them. Any condition. And paying any K-12 school in the US collecting them 2 cents per piece collected.

Can you imagine? Every Ziploc sandwich bag. Every Ziploc freezer bag. The little blue lidded containers you send your kid's lunch in. All of them repurposed into other things like coolers and trash/recycling cans. Not only will this divert a huge stream of difficult to recycle waste, it will be a chance for children, teachers, and parents to both take an active part in making a difference, it will expand their minds as to what's possible with what's considered "waste."

Really, when you put your mind and your resources to it, just about everything can be repurposed in some fashion. That's our goal, and we're grateful to Ziploc for joining us on this mission.

Readers: Who else do you think should join us in turning their packaging or product into something else then fodder for the landfill?
Read more about recycling:
Are You Being Lied to About Recycling?
Starbucks Shareholders Reject Recycling Initiative
4 Ways to Earn Cash From Recycling

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