The Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG) of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and other State officials to announce a statewide campaign to increase recycling of plastic wraps, bags, and film (collectively “plastic film packaging”). Fla. DEP officials announced the campaign at the State Capitol in Tallahassee on Florida Recycles Day.
Additional partners in this new Wrap Action Recycling Program (WRAP) campaign include Publix Super Markets, Waste Management, Inc. of Florida, Florida Recycling Partnership, municipalities, recycling processors, haulers, and the Florida Retail Federation. Initial campaign activities are expected to reach more than eight million people in ten counties and municipalities.
The Florida WRAP campaign will grow greater public awareness and participation in plastic film packaging recycling at grocery stores and other retail locations, while also reducing the amount of film packaging inappropriately placed in curbside recycling bins. It builds on Florida’s “Rethink. Reset. Recycle.” campaign and reminds residents to bring back plastic bags and other film packaging to participating retailers, which have established collection programs for film packaging recycling.
“We are pleased to join our partners in launching the WRAP initiative, which aims to reduce curbside recycling contamination through education, and provides Florida’s residents with even more recycling opportunities,” said DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein. “Through these efforts, and with the help of our partners, together we can ensure Florida’s natural resources are protected and continue achieving more now for Florida’s environment.”
“We are very pleased that Florida has become a WRAP partner,” said Shari Jackson, director of the FFRG. “WRAP provides tools and leading practices to support DEP’s community outreach and education efforts to increase the recycling of plastic film packaging.”
“Plastic bags and film are recyclable at many large retail outlets but not in curbside recycling containers,” said Dawn McCormick, director of communications for Waste Management and board chair of the Florida Recycling Partnership. “At our recycling centers, the plastic material wraps around the machinery, causing long shutdowns of the plant as workers spend hours each day cutting out the material. It’s difficult work and dramatically increases the cost of recycling.”
“Florida’s 270,000 retailers are constantly identifying new and innovative ways to encourage recycling efforts in our state, and the Florida Retail Federation is proud to stand with our fellow coalition members on behalf our member businesses,” said R. Scott Shalley, president & CEO of the Florida Retail Federation.
In addition to expanding collection of plastic film packaging for recycling, the WRAP campaign will raise awareness and promote use of products made with recycled film to help expand domestic markets of the material. Recycled plastic film can be used to make products such as durable outdoor lumber for decks, fences, benches, and playground equipment, gardening products, and new packaging.