Returns > Recycling
You may not know this but there are two recycling systems in the US. The curbside system is where you put your stuff in a bin, a garbage truck picks it up from your home and poof - you think it magically gets reborn into cool stuff. This system is super easy. It's so easy, we often put stuff in the bin that can't be recycled at all but because no one gives any feedback, we keep doing it.
The second system is the return system. You know it. The machines you see in supermarkets? The 10 cents deposit you see on cans and bottles? The return system isn't very convenient (standing in line to put stuff in a machine is pretty brutal, especially when they are often dirty or broken) but hey - you get your money back.
But here's where it gets reallllllly interesting. The return systems is 2-3 TIMES more effective than the curbside system. In fact, a recent study has shown, that if the return system was in 100% of the country (it's only in about 25% today), we would stop landfilling 137 billion bottles and cans a year, and only end up throwing away about 20 billion. Still a ton, I know but I'll take that reduction any day.
So - factually returns are better than regular recycling. It's because they GET RETURNED and handled properly. They don't go in the back of a garbage truck at all. They don't get mixed with pasta sauce and greasy pizza boxes.
And - bonus points you get your money back. Not a ton of money but every little bit helps. And, MeCycle makes it easy to keep it (hellllo Venmo) or donate it. With the touch of a button.
So let's get returning. All you have to do is scan the UPC, get your money and pop it in your MeCycle bin. No lines, no broken machines and sure not to end up in landfills or the ocean. There is no magic to recycling. But returns? Now that's another story.