Photo of Senator Kennedy.

State Senator

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison & North Branford

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Kennedy, DEEP, Grocery Stores and Retailers Launch Campaign to Promote Recycling of Plastic Bags And Wraps

Survey finds most residents not aware of how or where to recycle plastic wrap items

Photo of Senators Duff and Kennedy

MIDDLETOWN, CT—Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford) joined state officials and recycling advocates today to launch a new campaign to increase recycling of plastic bags and wraps, noting that a survey finds most people in Connecticut are not yet aware of where and what to recycle.

“We’re asking everybody in Connecticut to spread the message, pitch in, and recycle plastic bags and wraps by taking them back to participating stores,” said Senator Kennedy, Co-Chair of the Environment Committee.

“This plastic bag and wrap recycling program helps Connecticut meet its sustainability goals,” said Representative Demicco, Co-Chair of the Environment Committee. “Connecticut can be a leader in recycling and a role model for other states.”

“When plastic bags or wraps are put in curbside bins, it makes recycling more difficult, time consuming, and expensive, which winds up costing all of us more money,” Commissioner Klee noted. “Recycling plastic bags and wraps at participating retailers diverts materials from the landfill and creates useful new products. This supports the state goal of diverting 60 percent of our trash from the waste steam by 2024.

The campaign kickoff was held at a Price Chopper store in Middletown, one of the many retail stores that accept plastic bags and wraps for recycling in storefront bins. Elected officials, advocates and grocery employees pointed out that plastic bags and wraps should not be placed in curbside recycling bins because the plastic film can cause significant problems with machinery at the recycling facility. Instead, plastic bags and wraps can be returned to approximately 200 local grocery and retail stores in the state.

A recent survey of Connecticut residents found that only half are aware that certain plastic items should be brought to grocery or retail stores to ensure proper recycling. Plus, few residents are aware of the various types of plastic bags and wraps that can be recycled. Residents can learn where and what to recycle at www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.

Grocers and retailers accept plastic bags such grocery bags, newspaper bags, produce bags, bread bags, dry cleaning bags, and even zipper bags for recycling. They also accept plastic wraps from water bottle cases, diapers, bathroom tissue, and paper towels, as well as bubble wrap and shipping pillows. The plastic bags and wraps must be clean and dry and placed in storefront recycling bins. Plastic bags and wraps get recycled into products such as new grocery bags, benches, and decking.

The campaign is part of Connecticut WRAP (Wrap Recycling Action Project), an innovative public/private partnership that promotes recycling of plastic “film” beyond bags. The partnership is comprised of public officials, municipalities, recycling officials, retailers and grocers such as Price Chopper, plastics makers, Trex, which makes recycled plastic lumber products, and other recycling advocates.

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