Contact: Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623  

WASHINGTON (May 5, 2015) - Advocates of plastic film recycling recently launched a pilot program at select grocery stores in Milwaukee to examine ways to increase collection of plastic bags and many types of flexible wraps. Assuming the outcome is successful, the results of the pilot program could be replicated at stores nationwide to increase recycling rates.

Stakeholders in the Wrap Recycling Action Program (WRAP) launched " WRAP-Recycling Film Beyond Bags " at ten grocery stores in the Roundy's supermarket chain on Earth Day, April 22. The program incorporates various outreach efforts to communicate directly to shoppers at these stores, encouraging them to collect and bring back plastic film items-grocery bags, newspaper bags, dry-cleaning film, product wraps, bread bags, and more-for recycling. The plastic film is sent to recycling facilities for use in new bags, new packaging, decking, benches, and other items.

Among the outreach efforts, the pilot program includes new in-store recycling bins and posters, as well as flyers that are distributed directly to shoppers. WRAP stakeholders also plan to award random shoppers who get "caught in the act" of recycling plastic film with store gift cards.

The program's plastic film collection rates will be compared to pre-program rates to determine the level of success. Assuming the program results in a significant increase in collection, WRAP stakeholders will make available details of the pilot program for other stores to emulate.

"We created a pilot program that is easy to replicate so, assuming we're successful, other stores can implement a similar program with little planning," said Shari Jackson, director of film recycling at the American Chemistry Council . "We're exploring ways to increase participation rates, as well as the types and amounts of plastic film collected. We aim to keep building on the 11 percent increase in film recycling that was achieved nationally in 2013."


News & Resources

View our resource center to find press releases, testimonies, infographics and more.