July 2, 2019
This guest blog is courtesy of the WRAP program, written by Shari Jackson, Director, Film Recycling, American Chemistry Council.
Far too many people are not aware that they can recycle a wide variety of used plastic bags, wraps, and other film packaging through widely established retail takeback programs.
WRAPwas created to change that.
WRAP stands for the Wrap Recycling Action Program, a partnership spearheaded by the Flexible Film Recycling Group of the American Chemistry Council in Washington, DC. WRAP brings together government, businesses, and recycling advocates to increase proper recycling of plastic bags and wraps… that is, collecting them at ≈ 18,000 retail stores throughout the United States (typically grocers and big box stores), not in curbside bins.
Last year in Connecticut, a WRAP Team concluded a campaign focused on the greater Hartford area that encouraged people to recycle plastic bags and wraps at retail stores instead of in curbside bins. The campaign helped increase the amount of plastic bags collected (grocery, retail, and produce bags) and the amount of “other film” collected (case wrap, product overwrap, bread bags, newspaper bags, etc.). It also helped decrease the amount of non-film packaging (contamination) collected.
In addition, a post-campaign survey found an increase in awareness of takeback programs, an increase in awareness of which items to take back to stores, and an increase in those who said they typically take plastic film packaging back to stores.
We’ve seen comparable success in WRAP campaigns in multiple cities across the country. A similar campaign is underway in Florida, where a recent survey found that nearly 70 percent of residents mistakenly think it’s okay to put plastic bags and wraps in curbside recycling bins. It’s focused heavily on reducing the amount of film packaging that winds up in curbside bins – and ultimately material recovery facilities, where it can wreak havoc on recycling systems.
WRAP campaigns also are presently in the works in the Northwest and nationally in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Most members of NERC are ideal candidates to become WRAP Partners or Champions and help increase awareness of proper recycling of plastic bags and wraps. For example, local and state government agencies involved in recycling can become WRAP Partners, either by helping coordinate a WRAP campaign or implementing individual initiatives using WRAP resources.
Partner or Champion activities – from educating residents to encouraging businesses/retailers to set up more recycling locations – are essentially turnkey, using free resources from WRAP with the support of the American Chemistry Council. Recycling organizations, waste management companies, retailers, and other recycling advocates can sign on as WRAP Champions through plasticfilmrecycling.org.
So please help spread the word about proper retail drop-off recycling of plastic bags, wraps, and other film packaging… to help increase plastics recycling and reduce waste.
If you or your organization is interested in creating or participating in a WRAP campaign or becoming a WRAP Partner or Champion, you can find more information at plasticfilmrecycling.org/wrap. Or feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NERC welcomes guest blog submissions. To inquire about submitting articles contact Lynn Rubinstein.
Disclaimer: Guest blogs represent the opinion of the writers and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.