For the past two decades, an American entrepreneur has made it his mission to recycle just about everything you can think of – even items municipal facilities cannot handle. And today, his circular economy philosophy is paying off big.
From 50 partners in 2016, when consumers became more conscious about reducing waste, Tom Szaky’s company TerraCycle reached 500 in 2020 – with a 50-million-dollar revenue and a 33% growth in employees.
“We asked ourselves, ‘Is there a stakeholder, like a manufacturer or a retailer or a consumer or someone who is willing to cover what it really costs to collect [an item] and process it?’” says Szaky. “With this business philosophy, we can unlock the ability to recycle just about everything.”
Launched in 2001, TerraCycle provides the infrastructure to recycle while brands handle the costs related to recycling. That way, they no longer extract raw materials to create their merchandise. Instead, they use recycled products that already exist.