On April 20th in King County, Washington, PBA will join city and school officials in the "Bag Your Bags, Bring 'em Back" collection challenge at Kennydale Elementary School. At this event children will weigh bags they've been collecting, and the winning group will receive a "green" pizza party. Through this experience, students and area consumers will learn about the importance of recycling their plastic bags and product wraps – and how it's becoming easier and more convenient to do so at grocery stores throughout the community.
Also that week in Florida the PBA will celebrate Earth Day by kicking off the plastic bag recycling campaign, "A Bag's Life," a community-based public education campaign designed to increase awareness of the growing number of convenient opportunities to recycle plastic bags and wraps in the state.
According to the EPA's data, the recycling rate for plastic bags and product wraps has doubled since 2005. In 2008 an estimated 832,394,000 pounds of post-consumer plastic film (including plastic bags and product wraps) were recovered to the latest National Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Bags and Film Report. The boost in recycling is being spurred, in part, by greater consumer access to collection programs, primarily at large grocery and retail stores, as well as by new markets for these recycled materials.
"More Americans are recycling plastic bags and wraps than ever before, driven by a growing recognition that plastic is a valuable resource," said Shari Jackson, director of the Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council. "We're pleased to be a part of these three great events that will help further educate consumers about recycling plastic bags and product wraps.
"It's not just bags, we find that many consumers are surprised to learn that they can return dry-cleaning bags, newspaper bags and plastic wraps from bread, paper towels, cases of soda and more. These materials are recycled into many useful products, including durable backyard decking, fencing, railings, shopping carts and, of course, new bags. What could be more timely than to spread this message during Earth Month," Jackson said.
Last year, the Progressive Bag Affiliates announced a landmark recycling goal of 40 percent recycled content in all plastic shopping bags made by these companies by 2015. When fully implemented, the Full Circle Recycling Initiative will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 463 million pounds, conserve enough energy (mainly natural gas) to heat 200,000 homes, and reduce waste by 300 million pounds every year. More information is available at www.americanchemistry.com/fullcircle.
The Progressive Bag Affiliates of the American Chemistry Council promote the responsible use and recycling of plastic bags. The PBA recycling toolkit is being used by retailers around the nation as a reference for determining the best ways to deploy effective recycling solutions in stores. To learn more about increasing plastic bag recycling, please visit www.plasticbagrecycling.org.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $689 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.