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Wisconsin looking to boost plastics recycling

By: Jim Johnson

February 10, 2014

With tens of millions of dollars' worth of plastics heading to Wisconsin landfills each and every year, a government-appointed group is out with a list of recommendations to better capture that material for recycling.

The Wisconsin Council on Recycling is targeting a few key areas in an attempt to divert plastics from landfill disposal. Council recommendations include: increasing collection of plastic packaging from commercial establishments; increasing recovery of plastic bottles at public events; and increasing agricultural plastic film recycling.

"The approach has been to target actions that can be successfully implemented now, within existing budgets and policies, and that are supported by the private and public sectors," said Rick Meyers, chairman of the recycling council, in a statement.

Recommendations come following a series of public meetings last year to discuss ways to capture some of the $64 million in plastics thrown away in the state each year.

Work already has begun on some diversion ideas, including a pilot project to increase plastic film, including bags and product wrap, from customers, businesses, distributors and warehouses.

That pilot project, the council said, began in the Milwaukee area but now will expand throughout the state.

Current council members represent industry, business, non-profit organizations and local units of government, the group said.