Before being placed on hangers or folded on shelves, the typical piece of clothing arrives at a retail store wrapped in plastic bags enclosed within cardboard boxes. This common practice ensure that the garment stay preserved and clean during packing and transport but also results in clothing stores having large amounts of plastic waste to contend with after every shipment is unpacked.
While most retail stores throw polyethylene and other thin film plastics right into the garbage, a new recycling program geared specifically for plastic waste used in the garment industry has been started by the real estate business Simon Property Group which owns and manages shopping malls and retail outlets throughout the United States.
Concord Mills in Concord, North Carolina, is the most recent Simon outlet to begin recycling and baling clear plastic waste materials. The facility has a designated room in its shipping and receiving area which contains a hydraulic baler for compressing garment bags, shrink wrap and plastic shipping materials into one hundred and sixty pound bales of plastic. The bales are then transported to recycling facilities where they are processed and resold.
Close to one hundred and forty of the outlet’s two hundred stores are involved and the program has recycled over two thousand pounds of plastic since last fall.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Shopping malls often have limited space for recycling and disposal so it’s important to think creatively and maximize resources. However, taking the time to think strategically about recycling is important for cutting down on waste disposal fees and your businesses environmental impact!