Innovating to Recycle the Un-recyclable
September 15, 2022
Plastic Pollution Problem
The world is facing a plastic pollution crisis that is overflowing our landfills, polluting our waterways, and exacerbating the effects of climate change. The US is the largest contributor of this crisis, producing about 40 million tons of plastic waste in 20211, that our current infrastructure cannot handle. For almost 20 years, China managed the recycling for nearly half of the world’s waste, but in 2018 they stopped taking imported plastic waste2, leading the US scrambling for solutions. The reality is that most plastic waste is what the industry calls, “mixed plastic,” which include items like straws, plastic bags, cold drink cups, clamshell-style food packaging, and take-out containers. These items are regarded as “unrecyclable” and often landfilled or incinerated, which often find their way into the ocean or release toxic chemicals into the environment when burned. It is estimated that eight million metric tons of plastic waste flows into our oceans each year – or dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute3.
Latest Action on Plastic Pollution
To curb the plastic waste problem, new legislation across the US and abroad has been gaining momentum to try and handle the ongoing crisis, fight climate change and fund recycling initiatives. In June of 2022, California passed a law that plastic producers must use 25% less plastic in packaging and at least 65% of the plastic must be recycled by 2032. Canada and India also announced a ban on single use plastics, making it illegal to produce or import these items3. As these mandates continue to gain momentum, companies that produce or consume plastic will be challenged with finding innovative ways to recycle and reduce plastic waste.
TerraCycle® is Eliminating the Idea of Waste®
One company that is leading the charge in controlling plastic pollution is Terracycle. Founded in 2001, Terracycle has grown from a fertilizer producer, using leftover cafeteria waste, to a globally recognized recycling company for difficult to recycle waste in over 20 countries. In 2014, Terracycle launched the innovative, Zero Waste Box™, which is a complete solution for nearly everything that cannot be recycled through local curbside recycling programs. In recognizing our duty to prevent our filtration products from reaching landfills, Pall® and Cytiva joined forces to offer customers TerraCycle’s Zero Waste Box free of charge, with a goal of recycling 500,000 syringe filters in 2022.
Pall + TerraCycle®: right for our customers and right for the planet
Partnering with Terracycle, we have created a first in the industry Zero Waste Box to help our customer’s keep filtration products out of landfills. Any customer that is using ~5,000 or more syringe filters, or other eligible products, per year can participate in the program.
How does the Zero Waste Box work?
Request a FREE Zero Waste Box by visiting our dedicated landing page and a Pall associate will reach out to you on how to start the program.
Simply put accepted filtration devices in the Zero Waste Box instead of disposing them in the trash. The Zero Waste Box accepts Pall and Whatman™ branded syringe filters, capsules, MUPs, polypropylene syringes, and polypropylene conical tubes with no metal or rubber components. The program does not accept or collect any type of hazardous waste, medical waste, or other regulated forms of waste. This includes syringe filters that contain or have come in contact with hazardous, biological, or infectious substances.
When the box is full, seal the box and ship to Terracycle using the pre-paid shipping label that is already affixed to your box for easy shipping at no additional cost.
Once received, TerraCycle will recycle the contents, ensuring your waste is diverted from landfills and recycled into new recycled products like park benches, plastic lumber, and more. To learn more, visit TerraCycle’s website on how your trash will be recycled. Customers will receive a Certificate of Recycling that highlights the estimated quantity of devices they have recycled and the weight. This can be used to highlight your work in sustainability and help your organization meet your waste and recycling goals.
Help Pall and Cytiva reach our goal of recycling 500,000 syringe filters in 2022 to support your sustainability goals, transform your waste into new products and reduce your environmental impact.
For more information, please visit the Pall Terracycle Program's website.
To speak to a product specialist or request a free sample, please reach out here.
Boudreau, Catherine. “Fighting Our Plastic Problem: Bans and Recycling Mandates Gain Steam in the US and Abroad.” Business Insider: Sustainability, Business Insider, 13 July 2022, https://www.businessinsider.com/plastic-bans-and-recycling-mandates-gain-steam-in-us-abroad-2022-7.
Cho, Renee. “Recycling in the U.S. Is Broken. How Do We Fix It?” State of the Planet, Columbia Climate School, 8 Dec. 2020, https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2020/03/13/fix-recycling-america/.
Fox, Eve. “New Report Reveals That U.S. Plastics Recycling Rate Has Fallen to 5%-6%.” Beyond Plastics - Working To End Single-Use Plastic Pollution, Beyond Plastics - Working To End Single-Use Plastic Pollution, 4 May 2022, https://www.beyondplastics.org/press-releases/the-real-truth-about-plastics-recycling.