“The Big CleanUP” Recycling Contest is a Big Success

TRENTON, N.J., Date – TerraCycle Founder and CEO, Tom Szaky, and environmental advocate and Co-Founder of EarthEcho International, Philippe Cousteau Jr., partnered in June to sponsor a summer-long challenge designed to engage youth in tackling the growing issue of ocean debris. The Big CleanUP kicked-off with an educational webinar that challenged young people to use the summer months to get involved and collect as much hard-to-recycle waste as possible. Big CleanUP challengers competed in hopes of being named to the top 10 recycling schools in America. The results were fantastic with an astounding 400,000+ pieces of packaging collected from 47 different participating schools and organizations.

Together, EarthEcho and TerraCycle are proud to announce the winners of The Big CleanUP:

Grand Prize Winner:

·      Carol Devries and Dutton Christian School in Caledonia, Michigan, was our top collector in the country. With a collection of over 60,000 units of waste Dutton Christian School has won a special visit by Philippe and Tom in the upcoming months, plus a $500 donation to their school.

First Runners-Up:

Congratulations also to our First Runners-Up, who will both be awarded a $250 donation.

·      Second place goes to Kristina Greene of UpCycle It! from Westford, Massachusetts, with over 48,000 units collected.

·      Third place goes to Jarrod Hersh of Broward College from Pembroke Pines, Florida, with a collection of over 44,000 units.

However the real winner is the planet, with over 400,000 pieces of plastic trash and other debris diverted through The Big CleanUP that would have otherwise ended up in either landfills or, worse, our oceans. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, due to more and more debris ending up in our oceans, has grown to an estimated 100 million tons and is only getting bigger. This trash vortex has been affecting ocean wildlife for decades and could soon be more damaging and deadly than most people realize. The Big CleanUP is a small step that introduces young people to the big impact they can have starting in their own backyards.

EarthEcho promotes the idea that “everything you do makes a difference.” What you eat, what you buy, and what you do affects everyone and everything around you. TerraCycle and EarthEcho are honored to be working together with younger generations to take tackle pressing environmental issues like litter and debris in our waterways one community at a time.   The Big CleanUP challenge met its goal to educate and inspire young people to take action and become eco-conscious leaders of the future.

The Big CleanUP is part of youth outreach surrounding the USA Pavilion (http://www.pavilion2012.org/) at the 2012 World Expo held in Yeosu, Korea this summer. The USA Pavilion’s theme was “The Living Ocean and Coast.”  The Big CleanUP also utilized the amazing images and resources of One World One Ocean (http://www.oneworldoneocean.org) to help inspire and engage students nationwide.  One World One Ocean is a multi-year campaign harnessing the power of film, television and new media to restore a healthy ocean.

For more information or to get involved in the organizations’ many efforts, please visit: www.earthecho.org or www.terracycle.com.

Albe ZakesTerraCycle, Inc.Email: Albe@terracycle.comMobile: +
Denise GodoyEarthEcho InternationalEmail: denise@goodpronline.comMobile:  678.640.7651