Queensland retailer Biome has expanded its in-store and online recycling initiatives, helping save hard to recycle waste from landfill.
Founded by Tracey Bailey in 2003, Biome stocks environmentally and socially responsible products across categories including homewares, kitchen and dining, baby and kids, and beauty.
Bailey is passionate about protecting the environment and running an ethical business, and says Biome has been helping customers recycle since the first physical store opened in 2005.
“Initially, we accepted corks, batteries, mobile phones and print cartridges, but there are now widespread systems for those, so we no longer do,” she says. “We have also accepted bras for Project Uplift and soft plastics for RedCycle for many years.”
Now the retailer has partnered with recycling and upcycling company TerraCycle to help customers get rid of hard to recycle items like CDs, cosmetic containers, toothbrushes and pens. TerraCycle’s innovative model takes these items and turns them into plastic pellets that can be moulded into products like benches, picnic tables and playgrounds.
Although empty shampoo bottles, lipstick containers, brushes and hairbands are recyclable in Australia, Bailey says the cost and difficulty of recycling mixed-plastic items means they are often sent to landfill.
“When products like these are recycled through TerraCycle it diverts the items from landfill, giving them a second life through TerraCycle’s specialist services in recycling and re-purposing materials,” she says.
As well as the in-store program, TerraCycle zero waste recycling bins are also available to purchase through Biome. Business owners can purchase the bins to encourage their staff to recycle items like coffee capsules, office supplies and mailing labels.
By Ruth Cooper