New Zealand school students have been issued a challenge: collect as many used oral care items for recycling and be crowned Aoteraroa’s most sustainable school.
An estimated nine million plastic toothbrushes head to landfills every year across New Zealand. In a bid to reduce this, Colgate and TerraCycle are asking schools and their communities to recycle them instead and go in the draw to win the Colgate Community Garden Challenge.
Despite a difficult year for recyclers, Kiwis have diverted more than half a million oral care items – that’s toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and floss containers – from landfill to date. And to celebrate this milestone, Colgate are donating two community garden sets made with recycled òral care products as major prizes in the competition.
From today, all pre, primary, intermediate, special and secondary schools in New Zealand are invited to register, collect and ship all their oral care waste to TerraCycle who will then turn it into new products.
One of the recycled community garden sets will be awarded to the school who accrues the most points from collections and online votes, and one will be allocated at random to any school who sends in at least one eligible shipment during the competition period. This ensures that every school, large or small, has a chance to win.
The two major prizes include a garden bed, bench and planter box and recycled picnic table made with oral care waste to show that items deemed trash can become treasure. Additionally, in four monthly prize draws, schools will have the chance to win a prize pack of 60 Bio Cube plants and bio-degradable pots to encourage gardening and growing native flora and fauna.
Besides showing how recycled materials can be used as a sustainable alternative to virgin plastic, Colgate and TerraCycle hope the prizes will encourage collective action from the community.
Colgate Vice President and General Manager of South Pacific, Julie Dillon said the half a million recycled items milestone reflected the success of the programme.
“Colgate is excited to once again partner with TerraCycle to offer this exceptionally popular programme to students,” Ms Dillon said. “The number of participants reflects just how important recycling and sustainability are to local communities, and we’re pleased to provide a solution.”
Jean Bailliard, General Manager of TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand, said the company was keen to show the next generation that items you would normally throw in the rubbish can be given a new life and turned into new, useful products.
“The challenge allows schools to be recognised for their hard work and for that, we are grateful to Colgate for donating the awesome recycled prizes”,” he said.
Last years’ competition had students from more than 300 schools divert 27,000 items from landfill. TerraCycle and Colgate expect that this year will be even bigger.
To join the competition, schools are encouraged to visit the TerraCycle website, log in or create an account and then join the Colgate Community Garden Challenge.