Continental Products, the nation's largest manufacturer of newspaper home delivery supplies, has introduced Eco-Cycle, its new environmentally responsible newspaper bag.
Eco-Cycle bags are designed to be recycled, not thrown away. They are manufactured with a minimum of 20% post industrial materials and are 100% recyclable into other products. Newspaper subscribers can return Eco-Cycle bags to virtually any location that accepts plastic grocery bags.
The American Chemistry Council, in conjunction with several other organizations, has developed a "Bring it Back" campaign and maintains a database of outlets that accept recyclable bags at http://www.plasticbagrecycling.org. The outlets include local grocery stores, retailers, and recycling organizations. Eco-Cycle bags are printed with a message encouraging subscribers to recycle them.
Eco-Cycle newspaper bags were developed after thorough research into the impact that plastic bags have on our communities. According to Carl Fuemmeler, Continental Products' president, "We looked at all the available information and it became crystal clear that the best thing for the environment was to encourage people to recycle bags. Bags that are not recycled are destined for the landfill."
According to the Federal Trade Commission, materials in landfills degrade very slowly, if at all. This is because landfills are designed, according to law, to keep out sunlight, air, and moisture. This helps prevent pollutants from the garbage from getting into the air and drinking water, and slows the decomposition of the trash.
"We looked at producing biodegradable newspaper bags, but quickly ruled them out. If biodegradable bags are not taken to specifically designed composting sites, they will wind up in the landfill, where there is no proof that they will degrade faster than any other plastic bag," said Fuemmeler.
Additionally, "If biodegradable plastic bags get mixed with recyclable bags, they will contaminate the recycling stream and this could result in recyclers refusing to collect all plastic bags," Fuemmeler said.
Eco-Cycle newspaper bags and other recyclable plastic bags are reprocessed and used in new products like low maintenance outdoor lumber, pallets and containers, crates, pipe and other construction items.
Fuemmeler said, "We are encouraging newspapers to promote the steps their subscribers can take to recycle bags. With increased education and environmental consciousness on everyone's part, recyclable newspaper bags will be re-used and stay out of the landfill."