- Target and TerraCycle have partnered for a car seat take-back program at select stores around the country between April 17-30.
- In exchange for any car seat, the retailer will be giving out coupons to use in their store or online. They estimate that this will divert about 700,000 pounds of material from disposal.
- The two companies previously offered this program as a pilot in Texas and Minnesota in September 2016.
Millions of car seats are sold in the U.S. every year and in many cases they can be reused if still in good condition once a child outgrows them. Yet eventually these car seats will end up on the curb and like any multi-composition product, they can be challenging to recycle. Some municipal programs in cities such as Los Angeles will accept them curbside if the fabric has been stripped out, and various local organizations take them as well, but it can still be hard to find options.
This allows Target to bring in new customers while helping reinforce the recycling credentials it has been cultivating through actions such as joining The Recycling Partnership last year. For TerraCycle, it is the latest in a series of corporate partnerships aimed at diverting specific, challenging parts of the waste stream.
While manufacturers, retailers and recyclers can be resistant to the idea of regulated extended producer responsibility systems for broader material categories, they have shown more openness to these types of voluntary take-back programs. Whether it's a limited event that offers direct financial incentives to consumers, or an ongoing kiosk for items such as plastic film and batteries, all of these programs get people in the door and provide an opportunity to collect dedicated streams of specific materials that would otherwise be hard to capture.