During the past week, we’ve received a few questions from Washingtonians interested in Hilex Poly’s recycling practices and the jobs created from the plastic bag industry in Washington state. At Hilex we are proud of the environmental initiatives and job creation our industry brings to the U.S., and Washington state in particular. In an effort to clear up any confusion, I thought it would be helpful to address a few of the recent questions in a short blog post…
How does Hilex sort plastic bags from a recycling plant?
Plastic bags should not be included with the recyclables in curbside recycling bins. Instead, consumers should separate their plastic bags, sacks and wraps, or any plastic imprinted with with a 2 or 4, and bring those bags back to local retailers who collect millions of pounds of bags each year through recycling programs. At Hilex Poly we encourage retailers to place a Bag-2-Bag recycling bin in the front of the store. On occasion we will remove receipts or plastic bottles from the plastic bags delivered to our recycling facility in North Vernon, Indiana, but because consumers have embraced the plastic bag industry’s retailer recycling program so well, there is no need to formally filter the raw material when it enters the recycling facility.
After Hilex receives the used plastic bags, how are those bags recycled into new plastic bags?
After consumers recycle their plastic bags by placing them in in-store recycling bins, those bags are then bundled into bales and shipped to our recycling facility in North Vernon, Indiana. Once those bales arrive at our facility they are washed and processed into pellets which are used to make brand new bags with the same quality and performance as virgin bags. For a more detailed description, check out our blog post on how plastic bags are produced.
Who employs the 1,000 plastic bag industry jobs in Washington state?
While Hilex does not operate a plastic bag manufacturing facility in Washington state, we do operate a facility in nearby Jerome, Idaho. However, a number of other plastic bag manufacturers do have manufacturing operations in Washington, including Ampac, Norplex, Inc. and Redi-Bag, Inc. Besides manufacturing jobs, logistics and warehousing companies that support the plastic bag industry also have operations in Washington and contribute to the number of jobs the industry provides throughout the state.
Do you have other questions about Hilex and the plastic bag industry’s influence on Washington state? Please contact us with any questions you might have!