Inteplast colors outside the lines to teach about recycling

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Inteplast Group (Livingston, NJ) is inviting youngsters to color their way to an understanding of plastics recycling. The materials supplier and plastics processing company has published Journey to the Big Time Recycling Extravaganza, a coloring book designed to teach kids about the science of recycling and helping them, as well as teachers, retailers and grocers, to understand that plastic bags have a value that should be recovered.

The 28-page coloring book, which also has a glossary, maze, word search puzzle and more, is a resource that clearly shows how the plastics industry can package an educational punch with a bit of creativity. Children and their families learn about reusing plastic bags and keeping marine life safe, and are taught terms such as extruder, polyethylene and post-consumer resin.

Colleagues across the company’s departments and locations—from sales to intellectual property and including EFS-Plastics, a recycling process center and joint venture partner of Inteplast Group—took part in ensuring the coloring book was fun, accurate and engaging.

In Journey to the Big Time Recycling Extravaganza, readers meet Lenny and his friends Polly and Ethel (a play on the word polyethylene), who have big dreams of making it to the recycling processing plant. However, when a pesky raccoon makes a curbside appearance, their dreams literally are blown away.

“We felt this would be a fun, friendly way to get the recycling facts and benefits of plastic carryout bags out to communities,” stated Inteplast’s Grocery & Retail Unit Vice President and General Manager Tony Myers. ”We want to connect learners of all ages with practical information, which we hope will offset some of the confusion that exists about sustainability and plastic bags.”

Inteplast Group President Dr. John Young believes that all plastics companies should take a holistic and transparent approach when supporting sustainability initiatives. “It is our collective responsibility as manufacturers to support all sustainability efforts,” said Young. “At Inteplast, we have developed a ground-up approach to take plastic waste from curbside all the way back to newly recycled products in order to complete the recycling loop. Technology is available for recycling plastic films and bags and we are making use of these latest advances. In other areas, we wish to promote reusability for solid substrates like pallets, containers and carton boxes, which will hopefully make the concept of ‘single use’ obsolete for billions of boxes and more.”

“Proper education and outreach are equally important so that we may include children and their parents in this important task. In my view, a more informed audience is actually good for manufacturers since this massive ecological undertaking can only be successful when done hand-in-hand with the entire population participating in all aspects of this project,” Young explained.

More than 8,000 complimentary copies of Journey to the Big Time Recycling Extravaganza were given to grocery and retail store managers, local school districts across America and Canada, and to Inteplast Group employees.

Brenda Wilson, Senior Director of Human Resources and Communications, noted that plastics manufacturing workforces can be effective allies of all recycling and anti-litter initiatives. “At Inteplast, we are conscious of educating employees and their families about the recycling loop and, specifically, their role in it,” she said. “We do not shy away from talking about this and accepting our responsibilities to the planet. In fact, our employees proudly embrace this role.”



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