Sakai students will help recycle your bags | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

Please help Sakai students win the National Trex Challenge by collecting more plastic film than any other school in the United States.

All you need to do is bring your plastic bags, dry cleaning bags, shipping pillows, bubble wrap — any type of plastic film that is clean and dry — to Sakai and drop-off this recycleable material in the Trex bins outside the school by the bike racks. The contest deadline is April 15.

While a national competition, this initiative is also a rich educational opportunity that is teaching Sakai students much about science, the environment and how communities can work together to create healthy change. Even more so, this project is a way that our fifth- and sixth-graders can educate our community that plastic film is recyclable and with very little effort required of the consumer.

Locally — and until April 15 — all you have to do is bring your plastic film to Sakai. After April 15, 2019, you can still recycle your plastic film simply by bringing it to places like Town and Country Markets or Safeway. In turn, these stores will send the plastic film that they collect to Trex recycling centers; and ultimately, Trex turns the film into new products like decking material and outdoor furniture. Plastic film is not discarded; it is repurposed.

Sakai students’ efforts are incredibly important. According to the EPA, the United States uses more than 380 billion plastic bags and wraps yearly; and these products require as many as 12 million barrels of oil to create. Worldwide around 1 trillion plastic bags are used each year, yet only around 5 percent of those bags are ever recycled. These are tough statistics, especially given that plastic film — which is the material from which plastic bags and wrap are made — is a well-known environmental problem that is preventable by recycling it.

Sakai students are well on their way toward winning the Trex Challenge. Since November, these fifth- and sixth-graders have collected more than 2,000 pounds of plastic film and educated our community about recycling plastic film every step of the way.

They still have until April 15 — so please help support these kids!

Examples of plastic film include: plastic grocery bags, produce bags, ice bags, wood pellet bags, salt bags, dry cleaning bags, bubble wrap, shipping pillows, plastic mailers, newspaper and magazine sleeves, wrapping paper sleeves, garbage bags (unused), pallet wrap, furniture and electronic wrap, case overwrap for bulk items like paper towels, cereal/cracker bags, and Ziplock/resealable bags (but NOT frozen food bags).

KATHY McGOWAN

Bainbridge Island

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