How to start the school year sustainably

The start of a new school year is almost upon us. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, you may be busy preparing for the year ahead by stocking up on supplies or organising schedules. But what may have slipped your mind, is how you can do all of this in a more sustainable way.

Our next generation will eventually be handed the responsibility of caring for the planet. In addition to focusing our own efforts, we need to make sure that we’re setting our children up for success. It’s our duty to educate them about ways they can reduce their impact on the planet, and hand them the tools to create sustainable habits.

TerraCycle partners with a number of brands in Australia and New Zealand to provide a solution for waste streams that would otherwise be destined for landfill. This allows schools to sign up for our free national recycling programs and encourages the school community to collect and recycle items such as dental care products, hair care products and lunch box soft plastics. 

Since 2017, TerraCycle has helped over 5,500 Australian schools sign up to recycling programs, to divert 1.8 million units of waste from landfill. 

TerraCycle partners with leading brands such as Colgate, BiC, PAW Patrol and Glad to offer schools free recycling solutions. Schools that return waste earn TerraCycle points that can be redeemed to raise funds for themself, or non-profits like WWF and Keep Australia Beautiful.

In 2021, TerraCycle partnered with Eco Educate, who works with primary and secondary schools across the country to deliver quality education about the environment and sustainability. The partnership connects schools with industry partners (like us!) who are leading the way in sustainable practices to deliver engaging, innovative and real-world educational resources. 

To bring the benefits of recycling to life, and increase awareness, TerraCycle and our brand partners regularly host nationwide recycling competitions for schools.  This gives every participating school the chance to win amazing prizes. So far we have delivered 43 playgrounds, gardening beds and benches made of recycled materials to schools across Australia and New Zealand.

What’s more, when you send your rubbish to TerraCycle to earn TerraCycle Points, which can be redeemed and donated to a charitable cause or organisation of your choice, even your school!

Before you get the wheels in motion for the 2022 school year, take a look at our sustainable schools to check list, and try to tick off as many things as possible.

TerraCycle Sustainable School Checklist

  • Reuse last year’s school supplies and try fun upcycle DIY projects
  • Reduce your waste with reusable water bottles and lunch bags
  • If your school is close enough, choose to walk, ride a bike or rideshare a few times a week
  • Learn what your school’s local council accepts in kerbside recycling
  • Sign up for our free recycling programs to recycle your sandwich bags, pens, toys & more!
  • Help us build our national recycling network by becoming a Community Collection Hub

Sign up to a TerraCycle free national recycling program and become a Community Collection Hub or a Private Collector by visiting our Australia or New Zealand sites.

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