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Survey finds that most residents not aware of where, what to recycle

WASHINGTON (February 21, 2017) – The Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) joined Connecticut public officials today to launch a new campaign to increase recycling of plastic wraps and bags throughout the state. Connecticut officials announced the campaign at a Price Chopper supermarket in Middletown, one of many local grocery and retail stores that collect used plastic wraps and bags for recycling in storefront bins.

Nationwide, more than 18,000 grocery and retail stores collect flexible plastic wraps and bags (also known as “film”) for recycling—yet consumer awareness remains low. 

A recent survey of Connecticut residents found that only half are aware that certain plastic items should be brought to grocery or retail stores for proper recycling. Plus, few residents are aware of the many types of plastic wraps and bags that can be recycled. The Connecticut campaign is designed to change that. Connecticut residents can learn where and what to recycle at plasticfilmrecycling.org.

At the launch event, speakers pointed out that although plastic wraps and bags are widely collected for recycling at more than 175 grocery and retail stores throughout the state, residents should not place these materials in curbside recycling bins because they can cause significant problems with machinery at the community recycling facility. “When plastic bags or wraps are put in curbside bins, it makes recycling more difficult, time consuming, and expensive, which winds up costing all of us more money,” said Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee. 

Shari Jackson, director of film recycling for ACC, echoed these remarks at the event. “As you will hear time and again today, these plastic bags and wraps do not belong in your curbside recycling bins,” Jackson said. “Instead, Connecticut residents can simply gather their clean and dry bags and wraps in a plastic shopping bag at home and then deposit that bag in a storefront recycling bin on their next trip to a grocery store.”

WRAP-imageThe Connecticut campaign is part of WRAP (Wrap Recycling Action Program), an innovative public-private partnership that promotes recycling of plastic wraps and bags. The partnership includes the FFRG, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, GreenBlue/the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the Association of Plastics Recyclers, brand companies, retailers, states, cities, and others.

Consumers in Connecticut and around 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 valuable materials are recycled into new products such as durable lumber for backyard decks, fences and benches, and new bags and packaging.

For more information: www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.

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