Two days after Valentine’s Monday you’re undoubtedly coming down off your love- and sugar-high, and no one is judging you for those candy wrappers piled up in your cubicle corner.
Plastic-coated candy wrappers have long been a recycling dilemma because of their size, weight and lack of valuable, post-life material. But even though they’re tiny in size, they’re everywhere. In fact, Americans consumed 23.8 pounds of candy per capita in 2008 alone.
When readers ask about recycling candy wrappers, we often recommend reusing them in some way (last year, one of our staffers tricked out his BMX with Starburst wrappers). We are also big fans of the upcycling geniuses at TerraCycle, who collect hard-to-recycle items to create products ranging from book bags to fire logs.
The company has partnered with Mars to collect wrappers through its Candy Wrapper Brigade, a free program that pays nonprofits to help collect candy wrappers. For each wrapper collected, Mars and TerraCycle will donate 2 cents to the charity of the donor’s choice.
This Valentine’s Day, TerraCycle capitalized on its upcycling concept by releasing instructions to make your own design from candy wrappers. Dubbed the “love bracelet,” the DIY design calls for chocolate wrappers, a glue stick, scissors, a ruler and a marker. Viola! A solution to post-V-Day candy waste served up on a silver platter.