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.
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.