Dow Chemical, Republic Services (a recycling firm) and the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), the co-sponsors of the three-month “Energy Bag” program, say they hope to show that resource recovery can achieve many positive, long-term environmental and economic results, including reduced landfill, whilecreating more local energy resources. 

“The FPA research in this area, including two recent resource recovery projects and trials run at Agilyx, a pyrolysis facility, provided information for the planning and decisions leading up to the Energy Bag initiative,” explains FPA president Marla Donahue. “Sponsorship of the Energy Bag program is an excellent opportunity for the FPA to continue addressing resource recovery from flexible packaging.”

The summer-long initiative will ask approximately 27,000 Citrus Heights, CA, households to separately collect, in bright purple energy bags, plastic items not currently eligible for recycling in the city. These items include juice pouches; candy wrappers; frozen food wrappers; plastic dinnerware, plates and cups; and more. The bags will be collected in the recycling bin, separated at the material recovery facility (MRF) and then sent to Agilyx for the energy conversion.

The FPA will produce a documentary video and “best practices” report at the conclusion of the pilot. These communications tools will be used to assist other communities and waste management companies that may be interested in implementing similar programs.