Effort To Increase Chip Bag Recycling
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Hamilton Township. July 11, 2012
What do you do with your potato chip bag after you eat the chips? Most of those bags up in the trash, but a New Jersey company wants to turn them into usable products.
Trenton-based TerraCycle has selected Hamilton Township as a test site to determine whether consumers are willing to help keep chip bags from ending up in landfills.
TerraCycle founder and CEO Tom Szaky says Frito Lay is funding the pilot program that gives residents half-a-cent for each bag they turn in to collection boxes.
“16 billion a year are produced. Terracycle today collects about two million a month already through our national program. Our goal is to show that we can scale up to significant percentages, well north of 10, 20, or 30 percent in a township, so that can then be replicated all across the country, making chip bags truly recyclable.”
Szaky says about two percent of the chip bags it collects are made into tote bags and the rest are melted for use as plastic products.
“The goal here is to show a brand like Frito Lay that we can take a national program that collects about two million chips bags a month and grow that to where we’re collecting a hundred million or half a billion or a billion chip bags a month. If this works we will be replicating this across the board with the 53 waste streams we already collect from pens to shoes to cookie wrappers and juice pouches.”
© 2012 WBGO News
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