Announcement from American Trail Running Association member GU Energy Labs.
Leading 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 to-date of $19,000 to schools and nonprofit organizations.
Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, the GU Energy Performance Nutrition Recycling Program recycled over 449,000 nutrition packets in 2020 alone, making it the highest collecting year in the program’s history. Enough to build 20 upcycled 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 continued support of their 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. “We are thrilled that our partners are joining in our commitment to keep waste out of the landfill,” said Santi, “and we are looking forward to getting to two million pieces more quickly!”
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 webpage.
About GU Energy Labs
GU Energy Labs strives to help athletes to reach their highest potential with products that deliver the right nutrients, in the right amounts, at the right time. Developed in collaboration with Olympians and age groupers alike, the GU nutrition matrix of Hydration, Energy and Recovery products has helped countless athletes achieve their dreams since its inception in 1993. Headquartered in Berkeley, GU Energy Labs produces all of its Energy Gels onsite with just the right blend of heart and science. Recommit to becoming your best athletic self, learn more about GU products, and discover how nutrition planning can help you get there at www.guenergy.com.
TerraCycle is an innovative waste management company with a mission to eliminate the idea of waste. Operating nationally across 20 countries, TerraCycle partners with leading consumer product companies, retailers and cities to recycle products and packages, from dirty diapers to cigarette butts, that would otherwise end up being landfilled or incinerated. In addition, TerraCycle works with leading consumer product companies to integrate hard to recycle waste streams, such as ocean plastic, into their products and packaging. Its new division, Loop, is the first shopping system that gives consumers a way to shop for their favorite brands in durable, reusable packaging. TerraCycle has won over 200 awards for sustainability and has donated over $44 million to schools and charities since its founding more than 15 years ago and was named #10 in Fortune magazine’s list of 52 companies Changing the World. To learn more about TerraCycle or get involved in its recycling programs, please visit www.terracycle.com.