Industries Encourage Participation in Recycling Programs
The Food Marketing Institutepartners with over 25 retailers to work on programs that inform customers about bag and film recycling options.“Retailers want more than anything to help their customers,” said Jeanne von Zastrow, senior director of industry relations for the Institute. “We’re focused on finding a simple and consistent message that makes it easy for customers. Retailers have an important and exciting role to play.”
With recycling options already widely varied depending on geographic location and so many retailers involved, von Zastrow emphasized that consistent consumer messaging throughout the industry is key.
The nonprofit organization GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition is on the same page and piloting a new label for recyclable plastic packaging materials that provides consistent and easy-to-understand on-package messaging.
In an effort to demystify the recycling process of plastic bags, packaging, films and wraps, those materials will soon be sporting the universally-recognized recycling symbol surrounding the words “Store Drop-off”. Consumers will see the recycling label debut on participating products this year, but it is expected to be widespread by 2013.
The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Flexible Film Recycling Group (FFRG), which was involved in the label’s development, is preparing to launch a national public outreach program that includes posters for grocers and retailers to display at the front of stores reminding customers to recycle.
The outreach program intends to promote the label, educate the public about film recycling and increase bag and film recycling collection rates. The packaging industry is hopeful that by eliminating confusion, educating consumers and encouraging participation, the recycling rate of PE film will continue to climb.