The Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) joined partners in Omaha, Neb., this past weekend to launch a new campaign to increase the recycling of plastic wraps and bags in the city. Representatives from the FFRG, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and First Star Fiber material recovery facility (MRF) were onsite 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), an innovative public-private partnership that promotes recycling of plastic wraps and bags. The WRAP launch 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 their non-recycled plastics from their waste so that the plastics can be collected at the MRF and converted into fuel. Omaha’s WRAP campaign and Energy Bag Program will help the city to divert more plastics from landfill.
“We’re thrilled to work with our partners in Omaha to educate consumers about recycling plastic wraps and bags,” said Shari Jackson, director of film recycling for ACC, in a statement. “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. 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.”
Consumers in Omaha and across the nation can recycle the following clean and dry plastics at participating stores: 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. Residents can recycle any thin, flexible plastic wrap labeled with a #2, #4 or the How2Recycle store drop-off label. These plastics can be recycled at more than 18,000 retail stores in the U.S.
These valuable materials are recycled into new products such as durable lumber for backyard decks, fences and benches and new bags and packaging.