Local stores offer plastic bag recycling

MIDDLETOWN >> The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is drawing attention to a recycling option for plastic that is designed to save millions in disposal costs.

The program has a few pluses, DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee has said in a release.

“Recycling plastic bags and wraps at participating retailers diverts materials from the landfill and creates useful new products.”

Plastic bags can’t be recycled curbside, and must be sent to a landfill at a cost to the state, the DEEP has said.

The new program is part of a state campaign to reduce waste by 60 percent by 2024.

Bins at participating retailers, including in Derby, Orange, Milford and West Haven, will give consumers a place to deposit that plastic.

“We’re asking everybody in Connecticut to spread the message, pitch in and recycle plastic bags and wraps by taking them back to participating stores,” Klee said in the release following a recent press event at Price Chopper.

The plastic bags and wraps must be clean and dry, according to the release.

They will be recycled and used to make new grocery bags, benches and decking, the release said.

Items that will be accepted include plastic grocery bags, produce bags, bread bags, dry cleaning bags and zipper bags.

In order to reach the reduction goals, the state needs to reduce or divert 2.3 million tons of trash per year, DEEP has said.

If Connecticut residents continue to produce the same amount of trash at the same average rate of 2.5 pounds per day, and those reduction goals are not met, DEEP estimates it will cost about $2.5 million more per year to handle waste.

The waste reduction goals for the state are laid out in a comprehensive management strategy released by the DEEP last year.

About 200 stores statewide provide bins for consumers to deposit plastic bags and wraps.

A list of the stores can be found at www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.