DEEP launches recycling awareness campaign

State officials and recycling advocates recently launched a 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.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Rob Klee announced the campaign on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Klee said 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 may 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 taken to grocery or retail stores to ensure proper recycling. And 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 plasticfilmrecycling.org.

“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,” said Klee. “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% of our trash from the waste stream by 2024.

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.

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