Contact: Allyson Wilson (202) 249-6623  

WASHINGTON (September 1, 2015) - Advocates of recycling launched a new program this past weekend at twelve Safeway grocery stores in the Vancouver, WA, area to increase collection of plastic film packaging and wraps for recycling. The results of this effort will be shared with area grocery stores to broaden programs for recycling plastic film beyond bags and to help increase recycling rates.

The Wrap Recycling Action Program (WRAP) "Recycling Film Beyond Bags" campaign launched on Saturday, August 29 at the Cascade Park Safeway at 13719 S.E. Mill Plain Boulevard. Dozens of local residents came by to drop of plastic bags and film product wraps for recycling and campaign representatives were on hand to educate Safeway customers and answer questions. The syndicated "Weekend Warrior" radio program (KPAM 860) with Tony and Corey broadcasted live during the event, promoting the activities and discussing plastic film recycling live on-air. (For event pictures, please contact Allyson Wilson.). In all, 42 pounds of plastic bags and film were collected on site during the two hour launch event.

[ LISTEN: Podcast of August 29th Weekend Warriors discussion plastic film recycling ]

Partners in the "Beyond Bags" program include the city of Vancouver, Waste Connections, Clark County, Safeway, Trex and the Flexible Film Recycling Group of the American Chemistry Council. 

The eight week education program will incorporate 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, bubble wrap, and more-for recycling. Among the outreach efforts, the program includes new in-store recycling bins and posters , as well as signs at each checkout and flyers that explain the program and encourage shoppers to return plastic bags and wraps for recycling. Consumers are also encouraged to check the film packaging on the products they purchase for the How2Recycle label , which gives clear instructions on the recyclability of the packaging and how to recycle it at retail drop-off locations.

Nationwide over 18,000 retail locations collect plastic film for recycling. Plastic film collected at retail stores is sent to recycling facilities for use in new bags, new packaging, decking, benches, and other products.

The program's plastic film collection results will be compared to pre-program measurements to document the success of the program. WRAP stakeholders will make available details of the program for other stores to emulate.

EPA's  Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures 2013 released in June shows that the national PE film recycling rate has more than tripled from 5% (2003) to 17% in just 10 years.

Plastic film is one of the fastest growing areas of recycling with collection surging by 11% in 2013 to 1.14 billion pounds, according to the 2013 National Postconsumer Plastic Bag & Film Recycling Report

"Shoppers in Vancouver can help contribute to sustainability by bringing back plastic bags and wraps to Safeway stores for recycling," said Shari Jackson, Director of Film Recycling for FFRG, which is spearheading the program. "It's easy to collect these plastics at home and then drop them in the storefront bin when shopping. We will significantly increase the amount and types of plastic film collected at these twelve stores and then expand the program more broadly."

Retailers, communities, and states can join the effort by becoming WRAP Champions or Partners, and brand owners, recyclers, and film processors should join ACC's Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) . FFRG's goal is to double film recycling to over two billion pounds by 2020.

Follow WRAP on Twitter  @WRAPrecycling and like WRAPrecycling on Facebook .


Resources to assist retailers, consumers, and others interested in film recycling can be found at .


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