The Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) of the Washington-based American Chemistry Council (ACC) joined partners in Omaha, Nebraska, during the first weekend in December to launch a new campaign designed to increase recycling of plastic wraps and bags in the city. Representatives from the FFRG, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and First Star Recycling material recovery facility (MRF) were on-site at four Hy-Vee grocery stores to educate consumers about the campaign and encourage them to recycle plastic wraps and bags at participating retail and grocery stores.
The Omaha campaign is part of the Wrap Recycling Action Program (WRAP), a public-private partnership that promotes plastic wrap and bag recycling.
Consumers in Omaha and across the nation can recycle clean and dry plastic bags, such grocery bags, produce bags, bread bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags and food storage bags (even sealable food bags and bags with zippers); plastic wraps from beverage cases, diapers, bathroom tissue and paper towels; bubble wrap and shipping pillows. Any thin, flexible plastic wrap labeled with a No. 2, No. 4, or the How2Recycle store drop-off label can be recycled more than 18,000 retail locations in the U.S.
The WRAP launch in Omaha coincided with a promotional event for the Hefty Energy Bag Program, which the city has participated in for more than a year. The Energy Bag Program allows consumers to separate nonrecyclable plastics from their garbage. The separated plastics are collected at MRFs and converted into fuel. Omaha’s WRAP campaign and Energy Bag Program will help the city to divert more plastics from landfill, the ACC says.
“We’re thrilled to work with our partners in Omaha to educate consumers about recycling plastic wraps and bags,” says Shari Jackson, director of film recycling for ACC. “Omaha residents can play an important role in keeping these items out of landfill by bringing their plastic wraps and bags to a Hy-Vee grocery store or other participating retailer for recycling.”
She adds, “Recycling plastic wraps and bags at retail drop-off locations instead of through curbside collection programs helps ensure that this material does not damage equipment at the local MRF. Moreover, recycling plastic wraps and bags at grocery and retail locations helps keep the material clean and dry, which is critical to maintaining quality for recycling.”
These bags and wraps are recycled into products such as lumber for backyard decks, fences and benches and new bags and packaging.