Trex seeks to expand plastic film recycling – LBM Journal

NexTrex recycling program

WINCHESTER, Va. — Trex Company is enlisting communities and organizations to partner in its robust recycling efforts. The recently launched NexTrex Grassroots Movement provides a turnkey framework for municipalities, universities, nonprofits and other qualifying businesses to serve as centralized drop-off locations for recycling polyethylene plastic film while earning funds for their organizations.

The Grassroots Movement is an expansion of the NexTrex recycling program, a nationwide material sourcing initiative for Trex, which manufactures its composite decking from 95% reclaimed material including a mix of industrial wood scrap and recycled polyethylene plastic film. A large portion of the plastic film used by Trex comes from a network of more than 32,000 grocery stores and retail partners who work with Trex to responsibly recycle commercial, industrial and post-consumer plastic film collected through warehouse and front-of-house collection. The new grassroots program extends the benefits of Trex recycling to business and organizations that may not meet the volume criteria for the company’s commercial recycling program.

“The goals of our grassroots program are to engage more partners, establish more recycling outlets for consumer collection, and to increase overall accessibility to recycling by removing hurdles that prevent the organic growth of local plastic film recycling initiatives,” explained Stephanie Hicks, materials sourcing manager for Trex Company. “The volume requirements established for our large commercial recycling partners are more than some organizations can attain or handle. The Grassroots Movement opens the program up to smaller but similarly eco-minded groups. It also expands the program beyond traditional grocery stores and retail drop-off locations, which can be limited in their collection abilities due to store hours or collection bin capacity constraints. By forming alternative partnerships, we hope to engage new and broader audiences in recycling.”

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Organizations approved for participation in the NexTrex program can earn funding by serving as drop-off locations where community members can recycle their discarded plastic film packaging. Each grassroots partner is equipped with a baler, which is housed on site for use in bundling and weighing recycled plastic material. After 20-40 bales are compiled (20,000-40,000 pounds of recycled plastic film), Trex will pick up and transport the material to its manufacturing facilities in Virginia or Nevada, where it will begin its new life as high-performance Trex composite decking. Trex then provides a rebate to its partners for the baled recyclable films making it a viable source of ongoing funding for business operations or community initiatives.

“The NexTrex program is an ideal example of a scenario where everyone wins,” said Hicks. “Trex wins by sourcing valuable material for our manufacturing process. Our partners win by driving increased community awareness and earning funds for their organizations. And, the world wins when we are able to divert plastic waste from ending up in landfills and give it new life in something beautiful and sustainable like Trex decking.”

One of the largest recyclers of plastic film in North America, Trex upcycles approximately 400 million pounds of plastic waste annually, nearly all of which comes from post-consumer sources such as shopping bags, newspaper sleeves, bubble wrap and package liners along with product overwrap, shrink wrap and stretch film used to palletize boxes, which are collected through NexTrex retail partners and other participating community groups.

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