The Iowa Grocery Industry Association, aware of battles over single-use bag taxes and bans around the country, is taking a proactive approach with a new program to make customers aware of plastic bag recycling opportunities.
The Build with Bags program has four goals:
- Double the amount of plastic bags recycled over a 24-month period;
- Reduce consumption of plastic bags;
- Increase use of reusable bags; and
- Encourage purchases of furniture and equipment made from recycled plastic through a grant program for parks and schools.
The program offers "a meaningful alternative to the banning of plastic bags, a practice that has been shown to have a number of negative unintended consequences," according to the project's Web site.
Customers are getting their first look at the program in local grocery stores this week, with a two weeks of promotions that will run statewide.
Stores are handing out bags that highlight the program, and they're also placing Build with Bags posters in the entry ways of stores near plastic bag recycling barrels.
Build with Bags is supported by the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Keep Iowa Beautiful, Metro Waste Authority in Des Moines, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and The Des Moines Register