Following our recent piece on TerraCycle, explaining a little more about its model and what you can recycle, we caught up with Alison Chaney who manages a very successful TerraCycle collection scheme covering Reading and Wokingham in Berkshire (UK).

Her Facebook page, Ali’s Recycling for the Local Community, now has over 1,000 followers, with many more residents donating to the scheme which helps to raise funds for local schools and community groups.

“I first got involved with TerraCycle in 2013 when my daughter was at Swallowfield Pre-School,” explains Alison.

“I started with a small number of TerraCycle schemes, such as yoghurt pots, baby wipe packets, Tassimo pods, baby food pouches and pens. I wanted to make a difference to what went into landfill and to help fundraise for this amazing Pre-School.

“Then when both of my children were at Grazeley Primary School. In summer 2019, I also added Oakbank Secondary School, St Michaels Church (Spencers Wood), All Saints (Swallowfield), and 1st Swallowfield Scouts to the fundraising efforts. And the latest causes is the BIBS (Babies in Buscot in the RBH) charity.

The local scheme now has public drop-off points in Bracknell (The Open Learning Centre), Wokingham (Hunters Estate Agents), Ruscombe (Binghams Brewery), Reading (Pink Hippo Self Storage), Mortimer (The Baobab,) Three Mile Cross (Budgens/BP) as well as in Shinfield, Swallowfield, Winnersh and Thatcham.

Residents can donate for recycling “everyday items” including crisp packets, biscuit wrappers, confectionary wrappers, makeup, toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes and Tassimo pods.

“Several businesses are also collecting for us in the workplace, including Blandy & Blandy Solicitors in Reading and Henley,” explains Alison.

Alison praises her “Small and dedicated team of volunteers”, who either help with the sorting of recycling into the relevant schemes, or by collecting the recycling from a growing number of drop-off points.

She continues: “The recycling is then sent to the TerraCycle warehouse in Darwen, Lancashire. All the recycling gets cleaned, shredded and made into small plastic pellets, which are then used to make playgrounds, plastic garden benches, and more!”

To date Alison has raised an incredible £14,832.64 over seven years of recycling, including £3,500 in just the past three months.

She feels that “big brands and supermarkets can do more” but that “in the meantime some have taken a step in the right direction by supporting TerraCycle recycling schemes.”

Looking ahead Alison says: “I hope that 2020 brings more recycling, more funds raised for local good causes, and perhaps, a few more amazing volunteers to help with our efforts. Thank you everyone for all your help and support!”

At Plastic Free Home, we are proud of Ali and others like her, in the UK and around the world. Keep going..!

You can find us on Facebook by searching for Plastic Free Home or at

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