The Warehouse, TerraCycle bring new life to old toys in recycling trial

Karen Pham

Karen Pham

The Warehouse

Partnering with innovative recycling company TerraCycle, The Warehouse is collecting old toys for recycling at 22 stores across the country in a trial program that runs until July 26.

Instead of being thrown away, toys that are broken and can’t be passed on to others including plastic trucks, metal cars, cuddly animals, Barbies, and electronic gadgets can be recycled and given a new stage in products such as watering cans.  

Large colourful recycling boxes have been placed in the participating stores where customers can drop off used toys. Books, board games, wooden toys, PlayDoh, paint, slime, pens, pencils, crayons or paint brushes – along with oversized toys such as bikes, scooters, skateboards or sports gear – are not accepted. When the box is full, it is sent to the team at TerraCycle ANZ.

“We’re exploring ways we can offer full circularity for the toys we sell, and as we’ve seen across the Tasman, there has been huge demand for the program,” said Lonnica Van Engelen, The Warehouse’s toy lead.

“This is a great opportunity for Kiwis to recycle toys that are broken and can’t be passed on or given away to others and know they’re going to be recycled and turned into something useful. We’re piloting this approach and if this trial is successful, we hope to extend it throughout our entire store network,” she said

“It’s fantastic to be working with The Warehouse on the first in-store toy recycling pilot to accept any brand of toy in New Zealand,” added Jean Bailliard, GM at TerraCycle ANZ.

“As a waste stream, toys are extremely difficult to recycle and are frequently not accepted in kerbside recycling because they are made of a complex mix of materials including metals, plastics, and textiles. However, they can be recycled through TerraCycle and given new life as watering cans, garden benches, or even incorporated into new playground sets and musical instruments to name a few.”

The Warehouse toys recycling program is not the giant New Zealand retailer’s only sustainability initiative. Last November, we wrote about the company launching a recycled cotton collection made from fabric offcuts.

Karen Pham

Karen Pham

Karen Pham is a marketing and branding enthusiast with a major in legal English. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, she is a contributor to Viable.Earth.


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