Wisconsin agency works to increase recycling of flexible film packaging

11 February 2013 (Last Updated February 11th, 2013 18:30)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and two national business groups have collaborated to expand the recycling of flexible film packaging throughout Wisconsin, US.

Recyclable bag

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and two national business groups have collaborated to expand the recycling of flexible film packaging throughout Wisconsin, US.

WDNR, the American Chemistry Council's (ACC) Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG), and GreenBlue's Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and implement a three-part programme in 2013.

The programme, which aims to increase the recycling of post-consumer plastic bags, wraps and other film packaging, will also create new opportunities for small to mid-sized businesses to recycle commercial film including pallet wrap and packaging.

The initiative will also increase consumer awareness and participation in plastic film recycling, and encourage businesses to use the SPC's How2Recycle 'Store Drop-off' bag / film recycling label on plastic bags and other polyethylene film packaging.

Consumers can easily identify which plastic film packaging is suitable for recycling at participating stores with the new educational label.

According to a new study by the Wisconsin DNR, the programmes will help support and grow the state's small manufacturing businesses, which seek more of the film material to supply their markets.

ACC plastics vice president Steve Russell said the latest collaboration builds on significant gains in plastic film recycling in recent years.

"We look forward to expanding recycling success in Wisconsin and creating a model that other states will want to follow," Russell said.

Expected to be launched in spring 2013, the project will concentrate on expanding collection options for small to mid-sized businesses, which together generate the largest volume of film packaging, through establishment of a network of recycling service providers.

Upon completion, a final report will be presented, featuring both the results and recommendations for maintaining and expanding flexible film recycling in Wisconsin.

FFRG's members include the Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Berry Plastics, Petoskey Plastics, Sealed Air, Wisconsin Film and Bag, SC Johnson, Avangard Innovative and Trex.


Image: The programme aims to increase the recycling of post-consumer plastic bags, wraps and other film packaging. Photo: Phiseksit.