Roswell students recycle plastic bags for campaign

By Erika Wells • Neighbor Newspapers • Sept. 16, 2015

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Students at North Fulton elementary schools hope plastic bags will be transformed into an outdoor bench instead of piling up in landfills.

The students will gather clean, dry and stretchy plastic bags and product wraps for the A Bag’s Life program through Nov. 12.

A student from each third grade class at Mimosa Elementary School attended a kick-off event with local government and community officials at the media center Thursday.

“If we can get children involved very early in their lives, then they will be lifelong recyclers and lifelong environmental stewards,” said Kay Love, city administrator.

“It’s important for young children to get involved; that way, it will become a way of life and become second nature for them. Plus, it’s fun for the kids. They love challenges and competitions.”

The students will spread the word to their peers and families about the nationwide educational campaign with the idea to recycle, reduce and reuse plastic bags in the community.

“When the kids go home after school and tell their parents to recycle or reuse their bags and wraps, it’s a home run,” said Randy Ziffer, with A Bag’s Life.

“Kids at this age are so eager to learn and are just becoming aware of the environment.

“If we can get them to add a fourth ‘R,’ as in ‘remember,’ to the simple 3-R equation [recycle, reduce and reuses] then we have done our job in teaching them one more way to cherish our planet.”

The students wore T-shirts, which read, “Don’t treat me like trash,” and learned about alternative uses for plastic bags and different products, which can be made from them.

The school that collects the most bags and wraps, from products like paper towels, will win a bench donated by Trex, a Winchester, Va.-based recycled materials manufacturer of wood-alternative decking, railings and other outdoor items.

The items cannot be placed in curbside recycling bins because they get caught up in sorting machines, said Trevor Williams, supervisor at Roswell Recycling Center.

However, the plastic bags and wraps, which cannot be black, may be taken to retail stores and recycling centers.

A Bag’s Life started on Earth Day in 2010 in Tallahassee, Fla., through the governor and the Department of Environmental Protection, Ziffer said. It began in other states including Georgia in 2012.

Sponsors include the city of Roswell, Fulton County and environmental and community organizations.

For information, visit www.abagslife.com.