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MNB reported that the city of San Francisco has announced a partnership with the state’s supermarket retailers that calls for reducing the number of bags entering the waste stream by 10 million by the end of 2006 and increasing checkout bag recycling.

Apparently San Francisco is not alone.

The Rhode Island Food Dealers Association (RIFDA) sent us a note that read, in part:

    On Labor Day weekend, Rhode Island became the first state in the United States to offer a statewide collection and recycling program for plastic grocery bags. The program is free for both consumers and the markets that display the collection barrels.

    Dubbed "ReStore," the project was developed by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC), the quasi-public agency responsible for managing the state’s solid waste, in partnership with area grocery stores. Grocery stores, from large national chain stores to neighborhood markets, are members of the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association, which endorsed the recycling effort and promoted participation.

    "Recycling plastic bags is an environmental stewardship that we wholeheartedly support," said Anita San Antonio, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Food Dealers Association. "We know consumers and markets prefer them over other types of bags, and we should all share the responsibility for ensuring that they are disposed of properly."

    The blue ReStore barrels are located inside sixty-two grocery stores around the state. Since all plastic bags will be eligible for recycling, it won‚t matter what name brand bags are deposited in the barrels. Consumers can recycle all types of plastic film including plastic newspaper sleeves, dry cleaner bags, and produce baggies. The markets will be able to commingle pallet plastic wrappings with the consumer bags and save additional disposal costs.

    The collected material will be trucked from the markets to the Packaging and More Inc. facility in Central Falls, then on to RIRRC’s Materials Recycling Facility in Johnston where they will be baled and sold to a plastic film remanufacturer. It is there that the bags will complete their life cycle and be transformed into new plastic film.

    The participating markets are: Shaw’s Supermarkets, Andreoni’s Market, Belmont Market, Carcieri’s Market, Clements Marketplace, Dave’s Marketplace, Dino’s Park n‚ Shop, Dunn’s Corners Market, Eastside Marketplace, Shore’s Fresh Food Market, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Tom’s Market and McQuade’s Market.
KC's View:
Point taken.