TerraCycle and The North Face Team Up for Polybag Recycling

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The TerraCycle office in Trenton, N.J. Photo: Amanda Wills, Earth911

When we pick up a new outfit from the mall, we may ponder the carbon emissions expended for the item to get to us. But at least it’s free of the packaging of internet purchases, right?

Well, not exactly. Most retail clothing items are packed and shipped to stores in polybags – clear plastic bags used to protect apparel during shipping and transit.

Since these bags are made from #4 plastics, which aren’t readily recyclable in many states, many end up in landfills.

But thanks to a first-of-its-kind polybag recycling partnership, many of these bags are being reused in applications that will boggle your mind.

The North Face has teamed up with upcycling and recycling powerhouse TerraCycle to form the North Face Polybag Brigade.

The brigade will divert 100 percent of the polybag packaging waste at the 20 North Face retail stores in states where #4 plastics are tricky to recycle.

TerraCycle will repurpose the bags into unexpected products like plastic lumber, bike racks, kitchen utensils and reusable tote bags.

These products and other upcycled finds from TerraCycle are available for purchase in retail stores and online.

So far, the partnership has collected more than 700,000 polybags, and the number is growing quickly.

To stay up-to-date on the ever-changing total, you can even track the brigade in real time to see just how many polybags are being kept out of the waste stream.

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