The Hefty® EnergyBag® program is an innovative approach that enables communities to collect hard-to-recycle plastics at curbside and converts them into valuable resources. Dow and Reynolds Consumer Products collaborate with municipal leaders and waste management service providers to get new programs started locally. The Hefty® EnergyBag® program represents a significant step towards achieving positive long-term environmental and economic advantages, including fewer plastics ending up in landfills.
Dow and Keep America Beautiful established the Hefty® EnergyBag® Grant to offer communities nationwide the opportunity to get assistance in implementing the Hefty ® EnergyBag® program as a permanent part of their existing waste management system.
The application period for a fourth Dow-funded Grant program opens April 8, 2019, making up to $125,000 of funding available for community Hefty® EnergyBag® programs! Completed applications must be submitted by July 12 for this grant cycle.
Dow’s aim is to establish viable, self-sustaining Hefty® EnergyBag® programs to complement mechanical recycling and keep more valuable plastics from landfills. Dow provides grant recipients with the funding and guidance to implement the program in local communities.
Resources and Information:
How the Hefty® EnergyBag® Program Works
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3 – Collect, Close and Capture Curbside the valuable resources that remain in hard-to-recycle plastic waste. Participating households collect their hard-to-recycle plastics in Hefty® Energy Bag® orange bags. Once full, residents tightly close the bags by tying them and placing them in their curbside recycling carts or bins during their regularly-scheduled recycling pick-up.
Participants’ current haulers pick up the tied Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags along with their regular recycling materials and send them to the local materials recovery facility (MRF) for sorting. The MRF pulls out the orange bags and sends them to an approved end market, which captures the value of these plastics by converting them into new resources. The easily recognized Hefty® EnergyBag® orange bags are never opened at the MRF, nor do the bags go through the MRF, making recycling operations more efficient. The program utilizes existing recycling infrastructure and is complementary to mechanical recycling systems.
The Environmental Benefits
The Hefty® EnergyBag® program provides many environmental and economic benefits, including:
- The diversion of valuable resources from landfills
- The conversion of hard-to-recycle plastics into alternative energy resources, which could be used to power businesses, cars and homes
- Improved efficiency of existing mechanical recycling programs by reducing the amount of hard-to-recycle plastics going to materials recovery facilities, ultimately improving the quality of recycled materials such as paper and cardboard
- Potential cost savings that aid in the decrease of waste management costs
- The reduction of fossil fuels extracted from the ground
- Increased consumer engagement and education of resource recovery