Dow Packaging is again teaming up with national nonprofit and longstanding collaborator Keep America Beautiful to award up to $125,000 in grants for organizations to establish Hefty EnergyBag programs in their communities.
The Hefty EnergyBag program, a collaboration between Dow and Reynolds Consumer Products, offers an innovative approach to diverting hard-to-recycle plastics, such as chip bags, standup pouches, foam containers, candy wrappers and juice pouches, from landfills and converting the materials into valuable resources.
For a fourth cycle, Dow is offering, via the 2019 Hefty EnergyBag grant program, up to $125,000 in grant funding to eligible communities across the nation. Previous grant recipients include Boise, Idaho, and Cobb County, Ga. (Keep Cobb Beautiful Inc.), as well as Lincoln, Neb., which will launch its Hefty EnergyBag Program at the end of April, and a second grant for Cobb County to expand its existing program. The first permanent Hefty EnergyBag program launched in the Omaha, Neb., area in October 2016.
Recipients of the third grant program will be announced in mid-2019. Recipients of the fourth grant will be announced in late 2019, after submissions have been fully evaluated.
“We’re pleased to encourage the growth of the Hefty EnergyBag Program with grant funding in collaboration with Keep America Beautiful, so that we can recover the value of used plastics that can’t currently be recycled,” said Jon Pyper, associate director of sustainability for Dow, in a statement. “The Omaha-area, Boise-area and Cobb County programs have already proven that we can successfully and sustainably divert more plastics from landfills and reuse those molecules. We’re eager to continue expanding this program and to encourage improved recycling in communities throughout the country.”
The grant application is open to municipalities, nonprofits, materials recovery facilities and other qualifying organizations through July 12. Dow will equip grant recipients with a framework to aid in developing successful Hefty EnergyBag programs in their communities and will facilitate planning, implementation and metrics tracking. Dow also consults with recipients as they manage their local programs and solicit involvement from key community stakeholders. Dow and Keep America Beautiful will host a one-hour webinar on Wednesday, May 9 to review the application process and describe how the grant applications will be evaluated.
“The Hefty EnergyBag program is an exciting opportunity that directly supports Keep America Beautiful’s commitment to reducing waste in communities across the country,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful, in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with Dow and other organizations that see the value in reducing landfill waste and advancing the collection of hard-to-recycle plastics.”
Through February, the Hefty EnergyBag program has collected more than 497,000 bags and diverted more than 331 tons of hard-to-recycle plastics from landfills—the equivalent of 1,573 barrels of diesel fuel produced from collected materials or eliminating approximately 48 full trash trucks each year, according to Dow.