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How about using Facebook to recycle plastic wrap?

By: Don Loepp

March 10, 2014

You use Facebook to share photos of your cat. How about using it for something real — to encourage people to recycle more plastics?

OK, maybe it won't go viral like "What State Do You Actually Belong In?" (I should be a Cheesehead, apparently). But the American Chemistry Council’s Flexible Film Recycling Group has set up a social media campaign to spread the word about the types of flexible film that can now be recycled at major U.S. grocery and retail stores.

“The WRAP Social Sharing Initiative is designed to educate consumers about widespread and growing opportunities to recycle flexible plastic packaging and to inspire others to participate,” said Shari Jackson, director of the Flexible Film Recycling Group.

Starting March 11, Facebook users can visit and "like" Recycle Your Plastics on Facebook to help their Facebook friends learn about recycling flexible plastic wraps. Everyone who likes the page and shares the post will have the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

People who share photos on the WRAP Social Picture Gallery also will have the chance to win gift cards.

This is all to get the public to understand that there are now more than 18,000 drop-off centers across the country that collect used flexible plastics — most of them at major grocery and retail stores.

Educating consumers is important to plastic film and bag makers. Today I sat in on the SPI Recycling Technology Summit in Orlando, Fla., and heard Mark Daniels, senior vice president of sustainability at bag maker Hilex Poly Co. LLC talk about his company's efforts to recycle plastic grocery bags and other films.

Even though Hilex recycled 13 million pounds of high density polyethylene in 2014 and 3.1 million pounds of low density PE, Daniels said the company is still battling against a misconception that film and bag recycling is a losing proposition.

Daniels message: even with the cost of collecting and transporting film to Hilex's recycling plant in North Vernon, Ind., then cleaning and repelletizing the material, "it is still a cost-benefit... it is a good return on investment for our company."

But if consumers don't know that bags that film and bags are being recycled, then bans and taxes are likely to keep spreading.