If you’re an avid recycler, you’ve probably noticed that plastic wrap has no where to go.
It’s not accepted in home recycling bins, because it snags up the equipment. And while plastic grocery bags can go back to the grocery store for recycling, it’s never clear if these stores also want the filmy plastic that shrink wraps so many consumer goods, like toilet paper bundles, packages of multiple food items, gadgets and random stuff.
And yet, plastic wrap is recyclable, as one student at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay discovered while working at a local hospital. Hospitals are gluttons for plastic waste, and this one assigned our student, Jacob Eggert, the task of finding a way to recycle those blue plastic films that shroud sterilized equipment. And he did!
Thanks to a nearby company, Zeus Recycling, this blue plastic and other films like it that normally fall between the cracks, or more literally, in highway ditches and waterways, was able to join a recycling stream.
Next, Eggert, a student of the Environmental Management and Business Institute at UW-Green Bay, helped bring the program to the university. Zeus Recycling enables the program by providing a plastic baler, which is the key to bundling the plastic film into a manageable mass. The baler is on loan, and being used as part of UW-Green Bay’s participation in the nationwide Recyclemania contest. But the university will have the opportunity to purchase it.
Read more about how UW-Green Bay is pushing the envelope on plastic wrap recycling at The Fourth Estate.
(Photo at top: Recyclemania, Purdue University.)