The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is pleased to announce that LyondellBasell has joined its Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG), a collaboration working to double the recycling of post-use polyethylene film by 2020.
The FFRG represents materials suppliers, brand owners, retailers and recyclers, and its Wrap Action Recycling Program ("WRAP") works directly with states, municipalities and retailers committed to increasing plastic film recycling through store drop-off programs.
Additionally, North Carolina has announced it will be the second state to officially partner with WRAP. North Carolina's decision comes on the heels of successful WRAP programs launched in the State of Wisconsin and in Vancouver, Washington.
"We are thrilled to welcome LyondellBasell and North Carolina in our efforts to significantly increase the recycling of flexible wraps and bags," said Shari Jackson, director of FFRG. "These great partnerships expand our footprint and our ability to educate consumers about the wide range of polyethylene film packaging that can be recycled at major grocery and retail stores."
"Polyethylene is a valuable material and resource even after its initial use," said Jim Clark, LyondellBasell's Polyethylene Director, Americas. "We look forward to working with FFRG and the WRAP Partners to see that more post-use polyethylene packaging gets recycled."
"Much of the infrastructure to recycle polyethylene wraps and bags is already in place," said Scott Mouw, of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ). "Working through WRAP will expedite our efforts to educate residents about opportunities to recycle and divert more valuable plastics and reduce waste."
Through this program, WRAP and North Carolina will implement a series of campaign initiatives using effective communications tools and best practices to support community outreach efforts on plastic film recycling. The program will also work to encourage commitment by more retailers to collect a broader mix of polyethylene film materials from consumers. Additionally, the program will work to expand collection and recycling of commercial film (pallet wrap and transport packaging) from small- to mid-sized businesses.
Joining the NCDEQ and the FFRG in launching the new North Carolina WRAP initiative are the GreenBlue® Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), and the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR).
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. This marks the highest annual collection of plastic film -- 74 % increase -- since the survey began in 2005.
Currently, more than 90% of Americans have access to a program that collects polyethylene wraps and bags, primarily at major grocery and retail stores. These programs collect a variety of common packaging items such as bags from bread, produce and dry cleaning along with wraps from beverage cases, napkins, paper towels, plus shipping pillows, shopping bags and bubble wrap.
Recycled polyethylene film can become durable outdoor lumber for decks and fences, shopping carts, or new packaging.