Palmer Township will be one of a handful of communities in the United States to accept flexible-plastic waste in its curbside recycling bins, starting next month. Flexible plastic — including bags for groceries, potato chips and cereal — can go into Palmer residents’ bins starting May 1. TotalRecycle Inc., a division of JP Mascaro & Sons, will process the plastic at its Birdsboro plant in Berks County.
Single-use plastic that would have gone into landfills or perhaps wound up in the ocean will instead become material for decks, walkways and playground surfaces. “These are items that used to be considered contamination,” Cindy Oatis, Palmer’s recycling coordinator, said Monday after a township board of supervisors meeting. Plastic waste has become an issue across the country and single-use bags have been banned in some states.
Oatis said the U.S. generates about 12 billion pounds of single-use plastic annually. “This change is being driven by the consumer who does not want to be contributing to these seas of plastic,” she said. Flexible plastic is the fastest-growing segment of the plastic-packaging industry in the U.S., she added.