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Partnership Promotes Plastic Recycling at State Beaches

It doesn’t matter who you are , politician, business leader, taxpayer or community activist , we can all agree on one thing: Trash belongs in the bin, not in the ocean or on the ground. But how do we clean up our world and keep it clean? We start by working together.

We at the American Chemistry Council are proud to partner with California State Parks and Keep California Beautiful in promoting recycling opportunities on our state beaches. Our goal is simple: recycle plastics because they are too valuable to waste. So far, this partnership is responsible for placing 429 recycling bins and signs at beach sites along the Central Coast and Southern California.

And just recently, we placed another 90 permanent recycling bins and signs at San Elijo, Torrey Pines, South Carlsbad and Silver Strand state beaches in the San Diego area.

This collaboration of government, private industry and nonprofit organizations is a perfect example of how committed people, all working together, can make a difference.

In his 2008 State of the State Address, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger urged government and industry to forge more public-private partnerships to assist in such efforts. The plastics recycling partnership meets the governor’s challenge of “shared responsibility” among concerned and motivated parties.

By providing the funding to purchase recycling bins and complementary signage for the state beaches, ACC helps State Parks ease the financial burden that every state agency faces in these lean economic times and allows it to fulfill a statutory obligation to divert 50 percent of its trash from landfills.

Parks provides the necessary venues to offer the away-from-home recycling options that Californians demand.


Good for Business

Making recycling and litter prevention a priority is good for local business. Material recovery facilities collect recycled plastics and other materials now being gathered on our beaches. The more materials collected, the more revenue the recyclers can generate, leading to more jobs and healthier communities.

Better still, companies that make valuable new products from recycled plastic, such as fleece jackets and composite lumber for decking and building materials, now have a more reliable material stream, allowing those businesses go grow.

Business expansion as a result of environmental stewardship is a model to emulate. Furthermore, let’s think about the impact recycling and litter prevention has on real estate and property values. Recycling is a win-win: It’s good for the environment, and it’s good for business. In fact, it is a business imperative.

Businesses must do their part. As manufacturers of plastics, we have a responsibility to help ensure our products are properly disposed of.

I encourage you to get involved , as a business and as an individual. Working together, we can make our beaches, oceans, economy and communities infinitely stronger.


Greg Babe is chairman of the plastics division of the American Chemistry Council, and president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

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