The partnership will facilitate a broader spectrum of nonlandfill options to customers for nearly every material stream—from the most common recyclables, such as mixed recycling and cardboard, to hard-to-recycle streams, such candy wrappers, batteries and cigarette butts. Rubicon and TerraCycle will have access to each other’s customer bases to offer new options, fill in the service gaps and “develop go-to-market strategies,” according to the companies.
“Rubicon Global and TerraCycle share the same passion of advancing the circular economy to keep materials functioning at their highest utility, preventing would-be waste from reaching landfills,” says Nate Morris, founder and CEO of Rubicon Global. “Both companies are focused on evolving the traditional waste industry that is dependent on landfills and leading the way towards a zero waste future.”
TerraCycle develops selective collection systems for the recycling of more than 100 specific hard-to-recycle material streams not handled by traditional recycling channels. Active in 21 countries, TerraCycle partners with mass market companies, brands, municipalities and local organizations to implement recycling programs tailored to these postconsumer products and their packaging. Other offerings include recycling programs for postindustrial material streams, the sale of unique “storied” plastics and other distinctive material management and project management services, the company says.
Rubicon Global says it works with its customers, including many Fortune 500 companies, small and medium businesses and municipalities, to find new efficiencies and cost-savings in their waste streams and to develop new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.
In March, Rubicon Global was named an “Emerging Innovator” member of the Circular Economy 100 USA (CE100) by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which brings together corporations, governments, cities, academic institutions, emerging innovators and affiliates to advance knowledge and collaborate on key sustainability initiatives. Rubicon also is a founding member of the Zero Waste Business Council and was recognized by the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Circulars Award in the Digital Disruptor category.
“To truly achieve zero waste, we believe we must solve the challenge related to hard-to-recycle waste,” says Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle. “TerraCycle reuses, upcycles and recycles these difficult waste streams, such as candy wrappers, disposable coffee cups and kids’ toys, instead of incinerating or landfilling them—moving waste from a linear system to a circular one, allowing it to keep cycling in the economy.”
In 2016, TerraCycle partnered with consumer products giant Procter & Gamble to create the world’s first shampoo bottle made of 25 percent recycled beach plastic, sourced from people who collect the plastics from beaches around the world. In 2017, TerraCycle teamed with Target Corp. to collect and recycle roughly 80,000 car seats, totaling more than a million pounds of material. These and other platforms allow TerraCycle to drive value for its customers, the company says.
Rubicon is based in Atlanta and has offices in Lexington, Kentucky, and in New York City and San Francisco.