A few weeks ago, I was walking into the Weis in West Manchester Township, behind an older gentleman. He was carrying a bag full of plastic bags, and I thought “How nice that he’s recycling those.” Weis has a white, cardboard box outside — next to the trash can — that’s clearly marked “Recycle plastic bags.”
So imagine my surprise when he shoved the bag into the garbage can. I honestly had to stop myself from pulling it out and putting it in the correct bin. And I wondered — what will it take? Flashing lights? A voiceover on a loop? An employee standing next to the bins to avoid confusion of what goes where?
One step in the right direction, though, is continued public awareness. Tomorrow — Nov. 15 — is America Recycles Day. Celebrated annually since 1997, the nationally recognized day highlights benefits of recycling and encourages communities, families and individuals to reduce the trash that ends up in landfills.
This year, Tuesday also marks the launch of “A Bag’s Life” at the Pennsylvania State Capitol. “A Bag’s Life,” according to its website, is a “public educational campaign that unites non-profits, business, community and government organizations around the common goal of promoting the three R’s” — that’s reduce, reuse and recycle.
Pennsylvania is the fifth state to launch a “Bag’s Life” program, in partnership with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. And if you browse through the “Bag’s Life” site, you’ll be surprised at how many different bags can be recycled.
From 10 to 10:30 a.m., Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Jim Cawley; Shannon Reiter, president of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful; David McCorkle, president/CEO of Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association; Robert Bylone, executive director of Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center; and students from the Nativity School of Harrisburg will gather in the East Wing Capitol Rotunda to launch the program and sign a recycling pledge, according to a press release. The event is free and open to the public.
Part of the launch is “an app to locate the closest plastic bag drop-off location among over 1,400 sites in Pennsylvania — and growing,” the release continues. So if the West Manchester Weis isn’t close to you, there’s bound to be another location nearby.