Sports nutrition brand GU Energy Labs and international recycling leader TerraCycle celebrate their six-year partnership with two milestones: upcycling more than 1.7 million pieces of performance nutrition packaging through their Performance Nutrition Recycling Program and a donation of $19,000 to schools and nonprofit organizations.
Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, the GU Energy Performance Nutrition Recycling Program recycled more than 449,000 nutrition packets in 2020, making it the highest collecting year in the program’s history. That is enough to build 20 up-cycled playgrounds. The cumulative plastic packaging waste sent in from collectors has been converted into raw material that is used in plastic products, such as shipping pallets, bike racks, park benches, recycling bins and more.
Additionally, with every shipment of packaging waste sent to TerraCycle through the PNRP, collectors earn points that are available for donation to a local school or nonprofit charitable organization of their choice.
“In 1993, we pioneered the Energy Gel and revolutionized the way athletes fuel by using single serve, portable packets,” said Celia Santi, Senior Brand Experience Manager at GU Energy Labs. “While we love seeing the ways our products help athletes achieve more, there is nothing more deflating than seeing spent gel packets on the road or trail during a ride or run. This is where TerraCycle comes in to help divert waste from landfills.”
With the support of event partners, GU Energy Labs is taking a significant step in 2021 towards diverting even more waste by pledging to collect and recycle all wrappers used during races.
Launched in March 2015, the GU Performance Nutrition Recycling Program asked athletes to send all single-serve sports nutrition packaging, regardless of brand, to TerraCycle to be recycled for free, as GU covers all shipping costs. This includes gel, chews, stroopwafel and drink packets. As the program matured, individuals were also given the option to drop off their empty performance nutrition packaging at a number of participating run, bike and outdoor shops throughout the United States.
“Over the past six years, the Performance Nutrition Recycling Program has offered health-conscious, eco-minded individuals a way to responsibly enjoy the endurance products they need without sacrificing convenience or sustainability,” said TerraCycle CEO and Founder, Tom Szaky. “Reaching this recycling milestone shows how dedicated GU athletes are to making the world greener, which is a huge win for both our communities and shared environment.
The Performance Nutrition Recycling Program is ongoing and open to any interested individual, race organizer, retailer, school, office, or community organization. Those interested are encouraged to visit the program page at https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades/performance-nutrition-brigade.
For more information on TerraCycle’s recycling programs, visit www.terracycle.com.
For more information about GU Energy Labs, please visit https://guenergy.com. F