Runners, hikers, mountain bikers, lovers of the outdoors… we enjoy our public lands. However, while using them we may inadvertently hurt them. Many of the nutrition product packaging we use and consume on our trails are not recyclable and will eventually end up in the landfill. Thankfully, TerraCycle has solutions to avoid that.

What Is TerraCycle?

TerraCycle is a social enterprise tackling the issue of waste created by single-use packaging. If we can’t totally eliminate waste, the idea is to find solutions to recycle items that are not recyclable in the mainstream waste management system. TerraCycle offers many solutions from free programs, zero waste boxes for purchase, and even industrial solutions. The waste collected can be either reused or repurposed.

How Is TerraCycle Helping Runners?

From plastic toothbrushes to pens, TerraCycle offers free recycling programs for different kinds of waste funded by brands, manufacturers or retailers. As for nutrition product packaging, two programs are of interest:

How Does TerraCycle Work?

  • Create an account on TerraCycle and sign up for one of the programs listed above.
  • Collect used packaging.
  • Ship it back to TerraCycle yourself or bring it to a drop-off location
  • Earn points to redeem to help charities or non-profit organizations such as Runners for Public Lands!

Performance Nutrition Recycling Program

The Performance Nutrition Recycling Program is sponsored by GU Energy Labs but concerns any brand of performance nutrition. This program works on a drop off-location basis. Check out the map on the TerraCycle website to find a location near you.

  • Collect energy chew packets, energy gel packets, drink mix packs, and packets of any brand.
  • Go to the drop off location to bring the waste collected.
  • The drop off location host will be the one redeeming the points earned.

If there’s no drop off location near you, you can send back the waste yourself but to earn points, your shipment must be at least 2 pounds. Then, you’ll be able to redeem the points on your own.

If you’re local to RPL’s home base, Mile 26 Running Co in Ventura is a drop-off location for this program. The points earned will be redeemed towards Runners for Public Lands.

Gatorade Beyond the Bounds Recycling Program

The Gatorade Beyond the Bounds Recycling Program is brand specific: it concerns the Gatorade and affiliate products only (Gatorade, Propel, EVOLVE and Muscle Milk).

  • You can do it on your own. No need to find a drop off location.
  • You just need to sign up for the program on the TerraCycle website, start collecting and send back the packaging in any box you have once it’s full.
  • There’s no minimal weight needed to start earning points. You’ll be able to choose what to do with the points earned. We encourage you to find Runners for Public Lands in the charities section and consider donating your points to RPL!


New programs and new drop-off locations are added frequently, so make sure you check them out. TerraCycle is a great solution to many hard-to-recycle items, even beyond running. Take a look at all their programs and thus avoid waste to end up in the landfill, to keep enjoying our public lands.