New Partnership Gives Conn. Residents More Options for Recycling Plastic Film

New Partnership Gives Conn. Residents More Options for Recycling Plastic Film

One of the fastest growing areas of recycling is flexible plastic film, which includes items like consumer and commercial product wraps, bags for groceries, produce and bread, sealable food storage bags, shipping pillows and more.

In an effort to increase plastic film recycling in Connecticut, the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) and Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) have announced a public-private partnership that will provide state residents and businesses with more opportunities for recycling flexible film packaging.

The FFRG has a goal of doubling the recycling of post-use polyethylene film by 2020, and it’s also working with the states of North Carolina and Wisconsin to make this goal a reality.

“Recapturing and recycling more plastic bags and flexible film packaging material will reduce solid waste disposal costs, reduce the contamination of other materials contained in single-stream recycling bins and create jobs right here in Connecticut,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee in a press release. “This strategy is also one of many action-oriented steps we can take to meet the goal outlined in our draft Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy of increasing the state’s diversion rate to 60 percent by 2024.”

The partnership will also try to reduce the amount of film and plastic bags placed in curbside recycling bins by attempting to ramp up voluntary recycling drop-off programs in supermarkets, grocery stores and other retail locations for plastic bags, wraps and other film packaging.

“Cleaning up our single stream recycling and making our recyclables more marketable is a very high priority,” said Commissioner Klee in a press release. “Plastic bags and other film packaging are recyclable and have real value–just not in our curbside bins. Residents should bring plastic bags and other polyethylene (PE) film material to participating retailers, such as grocery stores, which have established collection programs to maintain the quality of film for recycling. Our partnership with ACC’s WRAP program will strengthen that recycling network and make more people aware of it.” 

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