Ava Hagan, a local teenager, has set up a collection box at the entrance to Tesco Bray, where you can drop off your plastic confectionery waste to be recycled.

The 16-year-old Loreto Bray student has expanded her project, “TerraCycle Bray”, by signing up to the Confectionery Recycling Programme, offered by TerraCycle.  This has enabled her to set up a public drop-off location in Tesco Bray, where you can drop off your plastic confectionery waste.  The waste will be posted to a TerraCycle recycling facility for free, where it will be broken down into plastic pellets.  These pellets can be used to make rigid plastic products, such as benches, or used as a film for products such as rubbish bags.

Plastic confectionery packaging, such as chocolate bar wrappers and packets for sweets and jellies, is an example of single-use plastic waste.  This means it normally has to go in the general waste bin and either end up in a landfill or incinerated.  However, TerraCycle gets sponsorship from big brands such as Nestlé to provide various free recycling programmes.  This allows TerraCycle to recycle a wide range of waste that local council recycling centres cannot accept.

In March, Ava set up her first collection box for TerraCycle’s Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme and the entrance to Tesco Bray. “TerraCycle Bray is an ongoing project of mine,” says Ava. “I am very glad to have been able to set up a confectionery drop-off location after the crisp packet scheme was so successful.”

Accepted waste for the Confectionery Programme includes plastic chocolate bar wrappers (individual, sharing bar and multipacks) and plastic pouches/bags for sweets, jellies and chocolate.  Accepted waste for the Crisp Packet Scheme is any brand of crisp packets.

As well as diverting waste from landfills, Ava’s project helps to raise funds for her school, Loreto Bray.  Ava receives TerraCycle points for each unit of waste collected, which can be redeemed into a monetary donation for the school.  The Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme has already earned her €23 for Loreto Bray.

“It’s a win-win situation,” says Ava.  “TerraCycle’s recycling programmes help the environment and my school, and now that I have two programmes running we can have an even greater positive impact.  So I encourage everyone to continue dropping off their crisp packets and now start dropping off your confectionery waste also.”

Ava and her great initiative were part of ECO-UNESCO’s Environmental Youth Summit – The Heat is On!

For more information, follow Ava’s Instagram account @terracyclebray.  Any questions or queries please contact brayterracycle@gmail.com.

Ava Hagan with the new confectionery collection box (left) and the crisp packet collection box (right).