Bag Blog

Georgia's Got Recycling in the Bag

Since launching A Bag's Life earlier this year, Georgia recycling advocates have been busy getting the word out that there is more to me than a one-time tote.

From the southernmost boarder in historic Thomasville, northwest to Rome at the Alabama line and into the heart of metropolitan Atlanta, folks are embracing the notion that I'm not just a pretty face. :-)

A big thank you goes out to the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation, with the largest group of affiliates in the country, and the Georgia Recycling Coalition, with its network of organizations and companies that promote the 3Rs. They continue to hold educational events and awareness campaigns to change behavior so that I'm not tossed senselessly into the trash.

In store education

In Rome, Kroger employee Nikki Nasworthy who also is a nursing student at West Georgia College, is an avid recycler. The management at the Rome Kroger strongly supports plastic bag recycling inside the store - and encourages employees and patrons to do the same. We're glad to have them as A Bag's Life partner!

Nikki reminds customers that you can also recycle dry-cleaning bags, bread bags and wraps from products such as paper towels, bathroom tissue, napkins, diapers and newspaper bags.

Learning the recycling process

Girl Scouts also have come on board in a big bag way, thanks to help from Georgia Recycling Coalition Board Member Michelle Wiseman.

The group made large sized "test tubes" showing how plastic bags are fashioned into useful products and shared their show-and-tell during the Eco-day exhibition with the Greater Atlanta Girl Scouts. A Bag's Life partner, the Trex Company, which makes beautiful outdoor furniture and decking made from recycled bags, supplied the test tube "ingredients" which have been making the rounds to educate folks about how recycling works.

Michelle told us that there was tremendous interest by the girls and their parents to recycle their plastic bags.

Faux groundcover makes its debut

At the tail end of the 2012 school year, two elementary schools in Thomasville began recycling plastic bags as part of a green partnership with Keep Thomas County Beautiful, the city Solid Waste Department and Textraw, a local business that makes synthetic pine straw.

After being picked up from the school, the bags were baled and processed back into pellets. They were then made into the "faux" groundcover, according to David Carvin, the inventor of Textraw.

"By being involved in the process, we believe the students will come away with an understanding of recycling and resource conservation," Carvin said.

He thinks the program can easily be duplicated in other schools across the country.

"It produces funds for the schools, teaches the kids, employs people locally and keeps bags out of landfills," he explained.

Carvin calls it "wins all around," especially because Textraw is low-maintenance landscape, deters weeds, is insect and rodent free and adheres well to slopes to therefore will not wash away during rainfall.