Energy Bag program for hard-to-recycle plastics comes to Omaha, NE
- The Energy Bag program — now branded by Hefty — is coming to 6,000 homes in Omaha, NE with the goal of diverting 36 tons of hard-to-recycle plastics from landfills, as reported by Plastics News.
- Customers can use the special orange bags to collect drink pouches, chip bags, candy wrappers, pudding cups, detergent pods and other items that aren't usually recyclable.
- The bags will be collected in regular recycling containers and sorted out at a transfer station. The material will then be sent to Systech Environmental Corp. and used as cement kiln fuel.
This program was originally tested in Citrus Heights, CA using purple bags in 2014. About three tons of material were collected during the three-month pilot and converted into synthetic crude oil through pyrolysis by Agilyx. Program partner Dow Chemical Co. said these results were positive and that this could serve as a model for other municipalities.
Agilyx has since changed its business model, but Dow is still involved along with Hefty brand owner Reynolds Consumer Products, ConAgra Foods, Recyclebank and First Star Recycling. This follows efforts by companies such as Dow to make recycling options more available and create new products that can be more easily recycled.
At the same time as many environmental organizations continue to push for a reduction in plastic usage, manufacturers are becoming more involved in projects aimed at making the material more sustainable. Many joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's "New Plastics Economy" initiative earlier this year and Dow recently announced a $2.8 million commitment to mitigating marine pollution at the Our Ocean Conference.
Follow Cole Rosengren on Twitter