MIDLAND, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics and Keep America Beautiful announced they have awarded two $50,000 grants to organizations in Cobb County, Georgia (Keep Cobb Beautiful Inc.) and Boise, Idaho to establish the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program in their respective communities. The program, which aligns with Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals, offers an innovative approach to diverting plastics that are not currently recycled – such as chip bags and juice pouches – from landfills and converting the materials into valuable energy resources.
Building on a ten-year partnership through the Great American Cleanup™, the largest community improvement program in the U.S., Dow and Keep America Beautiful collaborated to announce the Hefty® EnergyBag™ grant program in July 2017, and sought applications from communities across the U.S. The two winning communities, Cobb County and Boise, rated highest on key selection criteria, which included: host city or municipality, materials recovery facility (MRF) and hauler participation; number of targeted households; availability of existing recycling carts for curbside collection; and accessibility of a suitable end market outlet that will turn the plastics collected into an alternative energy resource.
“We look forward to working with each community as they implement the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program in their area in 2018,” said Jeff Wooster, global sustainability director for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “Cobb County and Boise’s adoption of the program is helping Dow and its partners expand efforts to increase plastics recovery across North America.”
The two winning communities will provide collected materials to facilities utilizing advanced non-combustion conversion technologies which can generate a liquid fuel, such as diesel. These technologies also have the longer-term potential to generate feedstocks in a closed loop system and can be used to produce new plastics, keeping resources in use and at their highest value and thereby helping create a more circular economy.
Keep Cobb Beautiful Inc., a local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, submitted the application on behalf of Cobb County. Keep Cobb Beautiful and the City of Boise will be collaborating with key local groups including a materials recovery facility, hauler, end market user and a local brand owner/sponsor, each of which will be vital to the Hefty® EnergyBag™ programs’ success.
“Keep Cobb Beautiful Inc. is excited about this innovative program and is looking forward to bringing plastic recovery options and technology to Cobb County residents,” said Kimberly White, executive director for Keep Cobb Beautiful Inc.
"The City of Boise is committed to sustainability. This program provides an important tool in managing our post-consumer plastics responsibly," said Catherine Chertudi, environmental program manager with the City of Boise. "The opportunity to keep more plastics out of the landfill through this innovative recovery program is very exciting."
Dow will provide guidelines for these communities and others to implement the program, and oversee the initial planning, implementation and measurement phases. Grant recipients are ultimately responsible for managing the program and identifying and engaging key community stakeholders.
“The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program will complement existing plastic recycling systems in each community,” said Diego Donoso, business president for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “By investing in resource recovery, Boise and Cobb County will be able to divert more non-recycled plastics from landfills by turning these valuable materials into new energy resources.”
To date, Hefty® EnergyBag™ curbside and non-curbside programs, which include a 2014 EnergyBag™ Pilot in Citrus Heights, California, have diverted more than 17 tons of plastics from the landfill. The first full-scale Hefty® EnergyBag™ program launched in Omaha in September 2016. In its first year, the Hefty® EnergyBag™ Omaha program has collected more than 19,500 bags and diverted approximately 11 tons of plastics, the equivalent to approximately 8.6 million snack-sized chip bags, from the landfill.
To learn more about the Hefty® EnergyBag™ program, visit www.heftyenergybag.com.
About Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics combines core strengths of R&D, worldwide reach, broad product lines and industry expertise to deliver new solutions in plastics to meet consumer demand in end use markets like food packaging, personal hygiene, footwear, transportation and infrastructure. The business is one of the largest polyethylene producers in the world, and is a leading innovator and collaborator across the value chain on technologies and applications that are high performing and sustainable.
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s iconic community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, we strive to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, curricula, practical advice and other resources to deliver measurable environmental, economic and social benefits. The organization is driven by more than 600 state and local affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities and government officials. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.
About Reynolds Consumer Products
Reynolds Consumer Products is a leading provider of quality household essentials that have been trusted for generations. Our Reynolds® and Hefty® brand products help with preparation, cooking, cleanup, and storage. The Hefty® brand is best known for strong, dependable waste bags, available in the U.S. at mass merchants, grocers, and other retail stores nationwide. For more information, visit Hefty.com.
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress. Dow has one of the strongest and broadest toolkits in the industry, with robust technology, asset integration, scale and competitive capabilities that enable it to address complex global issues. Dow’s market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of advanced materials, industrial intermediates, and plastics businesses deliver a broad range of differentiated technology-based products and solutions for customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, infrastructure, and consumer care. Dow is a subsidiary of DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP), a holding company comprised of Dow and DuPont with the intent to form three strong, independent, publicly traded companies in agriculture, materials science and specialty sectors. More information can be found at www.dow.com.
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