Boise Area Continues to Divert Hard-to-Recycle Plastics from Landfills

Hefty EnergyBag

(Credit: Hefty)

by | Nov 2, 2022

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Hefty EnergyBag

(Credit: Hefty)

Reynolds Consumer Products, Dow, and ByFusion are continuing their collaboration in the greater Boise area to divert hard-to-recycle plastics from landfill. This follows a demonstration project that began in July 2021 to collect plastic waste from the community through the Hefty EnergyBag program and convert the materials into ByBlocks. This materials agreement uses ByFusion’s Blocker technology as an effective mechanical recycling process and extends the collection for another year with the ultimate goal of increasing circular solutions in Idaho.

The Hefty EnergyBag program works by consumers filling the Hefty orange bag with acceptable, hard-to-recycle plastics; when the recycling is picked up, the bags go to a local recycling facility (MRF) as part of its routine service and schedule. Then the orange bags are sorted at the MRF and sent to a facility for use as valued resources. 

The ByFusion pilot project has taken hard-to-recycle plastic materials collected through the program and has converted them into ByBlocks, the first-ever construction-grade block made from plastics previously destined for landfills. The pilot phase aimed to create new, circular uses for up to 72 tons of hard-to-recycle plastics and within a year has exceeded that objective with 80 tons repurposed to date.

In 2018, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics expanded its Hefty EnergyBag program, with two $50,000 grants to organizations in Cobb County, Georgia, and Boise, Idaho. 

Less than 12% of the 260M metric tons of plastic disposed of each year actually gets recycled due to lack of infrastructure and the limitations of mechanical recycling, but in February 2022, the City of Boise unveiled a new park bench made of ByBlocks in Manitou Park. Boise-sourced ByBlocks may also be used to create community infrastructure like create perimeter walls, privacy fencing, sound walls, bus stations, dumpster enclosures, storage facilities, and residential projects and much more.

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