Rah, rah, recycle! Dow pushes food and packaging firms to boost recycling rates

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

The Recycle Rally is a campaign by Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics to boost US recycling rates.
The Recycle Rally is a campaign by Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics to boost US recycling rates.

Related tags Dow packaging Recycling

With the Recycle Rally, Dow is encouraging food processing and packaging firms to boost consumer recycling rates.

Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics is launching the Recycle Rally, a 30-day challenge to boost recycling awareness and rates. The campaign is based on the idea of requiring one month to turn a practice into a habit, and recycling is a habit US consumers should get into.

Pitching in

Jeff Wooster, global sustainability leader of Dow Performance Packaging, told FoodProductionDaily brand owners, processors, packaging producer, and other stakeholders have a vital role to play in increasing recycling rates, and keeping precious materials out of landfills.

In addition to educating customers about recycling-specific packaging items, members of the supply chain and brand owners can recruit employees to help spread the word​,” he said. “Many retail stores now offer bins at the front of store entrances for shoppers and employees to deposit items that are eligible for recycling; this includes plastic films found on the outside of paper towels, case wrap for beverages, and plastic shopping bags​.

Wooster pointed out communities across the country already diligently collect and recycle a wide variety of packaging. The types of rigid plastic packaging widely recycled include containers, jars and bottles.

Bridging the gap

Most Americans know about recycling, but figures on recycling rate and waste sent to landfills indicate there might be a knowledge gap. In 2012, US consumers and businesses created 251m tons of trash, and less than 35% of people indicated they recycle on a regular basis.

Diego Donoso, business president of Dow Packaging and Speciality Plastics, said industry has a terrific opportunity to boost awareness of recycling, and rates along with it, by reaching out.

We see this as an excellent opportunity to not only increase recycling awareness, but to help build long-lasting habits that benefit the environment we all share​,” Donoso said.

RecycleRally.com is an interactive consumer-geared site that lets a visitor gauge her recycling know-how, then cull tips on how to improve their recycling rates. It also encourages site visitors to spread the word and share their newly formed recycling habits with others in their community.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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best practices

Posted by Susan Graff,

Raising consumer awareness goes hand in hand with the best technical solutions. Many are stunned when they learn the amount and value of materials thrown in the trash.

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Rah, rah seen this before

Posted by Glass Plastic Paper and Aluminum,

30 days, 1 day, America Recycled Day, KAB, rah rah recycle, terracycle, blah blah.

How long will corporate packaging interests continue to poor funds into websites that may last for a few months, gather a bit of support, and then die. Seriously, consumer recycling habits will not change based on a Dow website - they will change with a concerted combo of policy, education, and investment from business, communities, states, and (gasp) the federal government.

Nice Dow PR, but I don't see this moving the recycling needle beyond the haystack.

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