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Plastics Industry Partners with LA River Keepers to Promote a Cleaner Los Angeles

Jennifer Killinger (703) 741-5833
January 28, 2010

Los Angeles, CA (January 28, 2010) – In an ongoing effort to increase recycling in California, support environmental education and keep litter out of our waterways, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) today joined LA City Councilman Ed Reyes and representatives of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps on the banks of the LA River to announce a $100,000 contribution from ACC’s Plastics Division, Progressive Bag Affiliates and Plastic Foodservice Packaging Group to the LA River Keepers program.  This program, developed in partnership with the Los Angeles Community Development Department and the Bureau of Sanitization, works to restore and revitalize sections of the LA River. 

“Thanks to this new partnership , the LA River Keepers program will be able to continue its efforts to remove and recycle litter and debris from the beautiful LA River and promote environmental education, as well as provide ongoing opportunities for job skills training for our area youth,” said Bruce Saito, Executive Director of the LA Conservation Corps.
 
The LA River Keepers’ vision lies in the premise that the Los Angeles River environment is an excellent location for training, education and green job skill development through classroom and outdoor environmental restoration projects.

"This generous donation from the American Chemistry Council pumps much-needed dollars into two of the City's most valuable resources—our youth and our environment," said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who spearheaded the City's Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan to transform the concrete-corseted LA River into a continuous greenbelt linking communities.  "The LA River Keepers, mostly inner-city young adults, pick up trash, remove bulky items and provide an ongoing presence at the River as it undergoes revitalization.  I thank the plastic industry partners for believing in our youth and for working with me to renew the LA River."

The LA River Keepers provides watershed education, native plant landscaping and weekly restoration work including removal of debris and illegal dumping, removal of graffiti, recycling, and fire hazard and fuel reduction service projects.  “The LA River Keepers program will help increase recycling, improve environmental education, and keep litter out of our waterways, which are goals we all share” said Sherri McCarthy, Manager, State Affairs, American Chemistry Council. “We’re very pleased to support this program and to help increase awareness of the many plastics that can be recycled in Los Angeles.”

The LA Conservation Corps is the latest partner to join the statewide recycling awareness campaign, “Plastics. Too Valuable to Waste. Recycle.SM,” which has found success in a variety of areas.  The campaign began in 2008 when representatives from the California Department of Parks and Recreation, ACC and Keep California Beautiful (KCB) launched a recycling program that placed—and continues to maintain—hundreds of permanent and seasonal recycling bins at State Parks sites in the Los Angeles and Central Coast areas.  The program soon spread to State Parks beaches in the San Diego, Monterey and Santa Cruz areas, the City of Woodland, California, and to California highway rest stops through its new partnership with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).  For more information, see www.2valuable2waste.com/.

About the LA Conservation Corps:  The LA Conservation Corps was founded in 1986 with the primary mission to provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.  Over the past 24 years, the Corps has grown into the largest urban conservation corps in the nation with a full-time staff of over 150 employees serving over 17,000 young people each year.

About the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division: The American Chemistry Council, whose members include major plastics manufacturers, recognizes the importance of keeping plastics out of the marine environment through consumer education about recycling opportunities and best management practices.  ACC has a long history of supporting litter abatement programs and educational opportunities about our watershed and the importance of keeping it clean.  Among other activities, ACC has supported Keep LA Beautiful, helped fund a permanent display at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach that educates young people about the watershed in the LA region and the importance of recycling and most recently, ACC partnered with the California Department of State Parks, Keep California Beautiful, and Caltrans to install more than 500 permanent and seasonal recycling bins in key locations throughout the state.

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