Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business unit of Midland-based DowDuPont Materials Science, has developed a trash bag made from post-industrial plastic scrap that will be used to reduce marine debris.
To create the sustainable trash bags, the company partnered with Bemis and collected post industrial plastic scraps and sent them to Polykar, which used plastic recycling machines to combine the reclaimed plastics with Dow’s Retain Technology.
The process resulted in a recycled plastic resin, which Polykar used to manufacture the bags. The trash bags are making it possible for other difficult-to-recycle packaging formats to enter the recycling stream.
“As the largest provider of plastics in the packaging industry, Dow is a global advocate for resource recovery technologies,” says Jeff Wooster, global sustainability director for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.
“We’ve taken on the challenge with Bemis and Polykar, alongside the Trash Free Seas Alliance, to increase post-industrial recycling and extend sustainable industrial practices to address a worldwide problem. We know that if we work together, we can find a way to recover plastic waste and use it to make an even a bigger impact on reducing marine debris.”
Created in collaboration with the Trash Free Seas Alliance, Bemis Company Inc., and Canada’s Polykar Inc., the bags will be initially used to clean up beaches nationwide during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 16.
Dow is a founding member of The Trash Free Sea Alliance, a global initiative led by the Ocean Conservancy, which unites industry, science, and conservation leaders committed to identifying the causes and developing land-based solutions to preventing waste from entering the ocean. The coalition issued a report identifying major pathways of plastic leakage into the ocean and solutions to properly concentrate and treat plastic waste before it makes its way to the ocean.
A full version of the report can be read here.