Car seats are designed to be obsolete. They come with height and weight limits that parents need to follow to keep kids safe. Car seats also come with expiration dates for a variety of reasons—materials break down, safety standards change, technology improves, etc.—so you can’t pass them along to another parent like you would old clothes.
Their disposability and “difficult-to-recycle” nature mean most unwanted car seats end up in the garbage, but Walmart is working with TerraCycle to redirect as many as possible. The two companies are putting on the nation’s largest car seat recycling event, and it’s a great opportunity for parents to do something good for the planet while taking home a nice bonus for themselves.
Simply bring any unwanted car seat to one of the 4,000 Walmarts around the country that’s participating in the event and you’ll get a $30 gift card to the store. It’s that simple. The program started on Monday and will run through the end of September, which is National Baby Safety Month.
TerraCycle will use subcontractors around the country to break down the old car seats into their component parts, sending each material to be processed further into a raw material that can be used to manufacture new products.
Target offered a similar promotion, but instead of a gift card parents got a coupon for 20 percent off a new car seat. Their program ended on September 13, however, so if you have a car seat you’d like to get rid now Walmart is a better option.
TerraCycle says it expects to divert 35 million water bottles worth of plastic from landfills through the event to be recycled and potentially used to make the next generation of car seats.