GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – What started last year as an idea during an internship, students at UW-Green Bay turned into a campus-wide clean-up effort.
“Our total weight picked up is just over 1,700 pounds,” Matt Malcore said. “It’s a few hundred thousand plastic bags.”
Collected, baled and recycled. The university’s Public and Environmental Affairs Council, or PEAC, is trying to keep plastic film out of the garbage.
“Plastic bags, shrink-wrap, cereal bags even,” listed Malcore.
Plastic film cannot go out with regular recycling because it can clog machines at recycling facilities. Instead, it often ends up in landfills and waterways.
“Once you can’t reuse the plastic film anymore, you’re welcome to come to campus and put them in bins and we’ll take it from there,” said Anna Gribova, PEAC member.
The plastic is sorted by students, picked up by a local company and turned into new products.
“Things like kayaks, as well as this fake timber that can be used to make benches and other materials,” explained Gribova.
It’s a green project these students hope continues long into the future.
“It’s a win-win for us and the environment, I think,” added Malcore.