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Bring Your Own Bag Event Encourages Residents to Recycle Plastic Bags in a Different Way

Information about the Bring Your Own Bag event.

Saturday, hundreds of City of Albuquerque residents flocked to the Whole Foods located at Academy and Wyoming for a unique recycling awareness event. Keep Albuquerque Beautiful and the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) teamed up with Whole Foods to encourage residents to recycle their plastic bags at a local retailer rather than in their blue carts.

“Plastic bags often get caught in machinery and harm the recycling process,” stated Matthew Whelan, Director of the Solid Waste Management Department. “The goal of this event is to educate the public on the effect plastic bags have on the recycling process and encourage residents to use reusable bags when they shop.”

Plastic bags do not belong in your blue cart. Many stores in Albuquerque have a cardboard receptacle at the end of the checkout line where residents can recycle plastic grocery bags. When recycled correctly, plastic bags and films can be made into products such as composite wood which is used to make decks, playgrounds, and benches.

“Whole Foods has always been committed to practicing and advancing environmental stewardship,” stated Robert Crouse, Store Team Leader for Whole Foods. “We are also committed to the local communities we are a part of, and strive to do our part, not just for the local environment, but also for the people and the economy. We are proud to partner with Keep Albuquerque Beautiful, a community organization.”

Residents who recycled a large bag of plastic grocery bags at the event received a free reusable bag. The first two hundred residents received a variety of goodies in their bags from participating sponsors. All of the reusable bags contained additional information on how to Recycle Right in Albuquerque. The Bring Your Own Bag event is part of the broader Recycle Right ABQ campaign whose goal is to start a conversation among Albuquerque residents and businesses to understand what goes in their blue carts and teal bins.