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MADISON – The state’s Council on Recycling has launched a campaign to increase plastics recycling and is seeking input from businesses and members of the public.
The campaign will focus on increasing the recovery of plastic film and bags, rigid plastic products and packaging such as deli trays, buckets, toys, plastic furniture and plastic bottles. The campaign comes on the heels of a fall 2012 study by the Department of Natural Resources, which concluded that Wisconsin is poised to gain substantial economic benefits through better recycling of an estimated $64 million in plastics disposed of in Wisconsin landfills each year.
About 40 representatives from business, state and local government and academia in Wisconsin and neighboring states met in Wausau in mid-April to kick off the plastics recycling campaign.
“We are very pleased that the council has formed a subcommittee to focus on increasing plastics recycling, and that they are seeking public input,” said Ann Coakley, director of the DNR’s Waste and Materials Management Program.
Rick Meyers, chair of the Recycling Council, said three workgroups established at the meeting will flesh out recommendations for the council to forward to the governor, the State Legislature and the DNR. One group will consider strategies for recycling plastic film and bags to supplement and support an on-going initiative by the DNR, the American Chemistry Council and GreenBlue, a nonprofit working with businesses to improve the sustainability of products and packaging.
A second workgroup will consider strategies to address recycling and recovery of the growing volume of rigid plastics currently not included in most community recycling programs, but in high demand by industry as a raw material. A third group will focus on strategies to improve the recovery rates of high value plastic bottles.
“The Plastics Recycling Subcommittee has broad stakeholder involvement and experienced leadership,” said Meyers. “We have an exciting opportunity here in Wisconsin to make plastic recycling a growth industry for our state.”
To provide input to the subcommittee or its workgroups, please contact Cynthia Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Recommendations are expected to be finalized by November of this year.
You can find more information about the Council on Recycling or the Plastics Recycling Subcommittee on the DNR’s website.