A growing number of Denver-area companies are taking back their plastic wrap and boosting recycling in the balance. The membership of the Workplace Recycling Alliance for Plastics has nearly doubled to 19 since its inception in 1993 as a joint venture to recycle plastic film and other products locally.
WRAP has collected 500,000 pounds of stretch wrap since it began, and distributed it for re-processing into a wide range of products, said Mary Ann Closser, a WRAP spokeswoman and environmental coordinator for Hunter Douglas Window Coverings Inc., one of the venture's partners.
``Wherever possible, the plastic is sold out to companies in Den-ver or Colorado for manufacture into end products,'' Closser said. ``So far, we have done well in supporting recycling and the use of recycled materials.''
The member firms are responsible for taking back their products' plastic wrap, and then distributing it to a local recycler. The recycler, Consumer Plastics Recycling Co. of Denver, cleans, grinds and pelletizes the plastic and sells it to product makers.
``In the first three months of this year alone, we have collected and processed 31,000 pounds of wrap,'' Closser said. ``Some of our plastic goes into products like slip sheets, plastic lumber, recycled-content stretch film, barricade basins, and medical waste encapsulation.''
Whenever possible, Consumer sells the recycled plastic to Colorado-area firms, but will sell outside of the state if a market exists, and will accept forms other than stretch films.
Consumer Plastics rebates a portion of the profit from its sales to the WRAP group, which in turn donates 25 percent of that amount to Colorado Recycles, a nonprofit environmental group. Seventy-five percent goes to causes chosen by the members.