For eco-conscious students across the country, it pays to be “green” – this year more than ever. Trex Company, a manufacturer of high-performance, low-maintenance composite decking and outdoor living products, recently concluded its 15th annual Trex® Plastic Film Recycling Challenge and announces and reward the winners. The nationwide challenge kicks off each fall on America Recycles Day (Nov. 15) and concludes the next spring on Earth Day (April 22). Over the course of five months, students in grades K-12 worked together to collect and recycle the most polyethylene plastic film for the chance to win high-performance Trex products to beautify their campuses. For the first time ever, students involved in the latest challenge also competed for the chance to win cash prizes for their schools, thanks to corporate sponsor Charter Next Generation (CNG), one of the leading providers of specialty polyethylene films in North America.
“For the past 15 years, the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge has provided thousands of students a hands-on opportunity to make a difference in their communities and schools by learning the value of recycling,” said Stephanie Hicks, materials sourcing manager for Trex Company. “Paired with CNG’s generous corporate sponsorship, we continue to broaden adoption of our easy-to-implement annual recycling program among schools and in turn, increase the overall amount of plastic film material upcycled into Trex’s world-famous composite decking.”
Started in 2007, the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge was conceived to educate students about upcycling and actively engage them in the recycling of plastic film, a key ingredient in the company’s low-maintenance and eco-friendly composite decking, which is made from 95% recycled and reclaimed materials. Students from 686 schools participated in the 2021-2022 challenge. Together, they collected a combined total of 323,586 pounds of polyethylene plastic film, contributing to the nearly 400 million pounds of plastic film that Trex diverts from landfills annually.
Trex awards prizes to the top recyclers based on grade level, school size and region. Fifty-seven (57) regional winners were recognized this year, representing schools from across the country. Coming out on top in the 2021-2022 challenge was Moscow Charter School, located in Moscow, Idaho, where students collected a whopping 7,735 pounds of recycled plastic film through classroom challenges and community-wide outreach.
New to this year’s program, CNG’s sponsorship funds further incentivized the overall first and second place elementary, middle and high schools that recycled the most polyethylene plastic film during the collection period. CNG is proud to present $5,000 each to the top recyclers at Moscow Charter School, E.L. Wright Middle School in Columbia, S.C., and North Cross High School in Roanoke, Va. Prizes of $2,500 each go to the second-place winners at each level, including Woodland Elementary School in Monroe Township, N.J., Einstein Middle School in Appleton, Wis., and York Community High School in Elmhurst, Ill.
Additionally, a special award of $2,500 goes to the students at Maple Grove Elementary School in Greenfield, Wis., in recognition of their creativity and impressive activity on social media. Through teamwork, grassroots community outreach and outstanding use of social media, this school educated and engaged its community to get involved in the recycling program and generated a steady stream of images, videos and posts using the #TrexRecyclingChallenge and #Recycle2Win hashtags. In addition to the cash prizes, CNG developed and managed a landing page, Recycle2Win.com, which showcased a leaderboard, social media activity, and competition news.
“CNG has been thrilled with the energy, engagement, and excitement students brought to this year’s competition and wants to thank every school around the country for their participation. We also want to thank Trex for the opportunity to partner on this year’s competition and hope to build on what was started this year, for years to come,” said Kathy Bolhous, chief executive officer of Charter Next Generation.
As one of the leading providers of specialty polyethylene films to the North American market, CNG has a high focus on diverting plastic film from landfills by developing materials that are readily recyclable and actively promoting the importance of recycling. The company is a long-time participant in the NexTreX Recycling Program and worked closely with Trex on its GreenArrow platform of sustainable films for flexible packaging to ensure their suitability for the Trex recycling stream.
One of the largest recyclers of plastic film in North America, Trex produces its decking using 95% recycled and reclaimed materials, including a mix of wood scrap and polyethylene plastic film ranging from a variety of common household items such as grocery bags, newspaper sleeves and bubble wrap, to retail plastic waste including pallet wrap and industrial packaging. Each year, Trex manufacturing diverts nearly 400 million pounds of plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfills. Designed to last – without leaving a lasting impact on the environment – Trex decking incorporates this recycled plastic to offer a superior alternative to wood that requires minimal maintenance, lasts for decades, and creates an eco-friendly decking option for homeowners.
The 16th Annual Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge will kick off on November 15, 2022. Interested schools can sign up by completing a brief form on Recycle.Trex.com. Once enrolled, Trex makes participation easy by supplying each school with a turnkey toolkit, including detailed instructions, promotional materials, recycling bins and a list of qualifying recyclable materials. Schools can also leverage the easy-to-navigate Trex recycling website that features engaging content and educational resources.
For more information, visit Recycle.Trex.com.