Recycling Bird Seed Bags
It takes all of us to make recycling work!
For years, I was troubled by the amount of plastic waste our Wild Birds Unlimited store contributes to the world, in the name of feeding the birds. I couldn’t just wish away the legacy of plastic bags our store generated. When I spoke to recycling facilities, they stated they could not process plastic bags as it messes up their sorting machines. TREX manufacturing said our store wasn’t a major chain store so they couldn’t help us. When I approached state authorities, they had no answer except to take the bags to the landfill. Our franchise said ‘that’s great, good luck, let us know how it goes’. A recent article stated that the majority of plastic waste is heading to landfills and only 5% of that plastic is actually being recycled into a product. Needless to say, I became disheartened that no agency really wanted to recycle our bird seed bags.
In late 2019, I found out about a small non-profit called Eco-Plastic Products of Delaware. I was so excited to finally have a place to recycle Wild Birds Unlimited seed bags. Customers have embraced Eco’s bags-to-benches and our bags-to-bird feeders programs. Customers love knowing their bags are actually being recycled, and not ending up in a landfill. Once we got to know the folks at Eco, we realized we had to incorporate their mission of saving the world one bag at a time.
Do you know how cool Eco-Plastic Products is? Eco was begun in Delaware in 2018 by Charlie Falletta and Jim Kelley. They not only recycle plastic, but they repurpose the waste into boards, and in turn create viable products like benches and picnic tables. They also employ challenged individuals, and give them a chance to be a part of the world. Oh, and their building is supplied by solar electricity. What’s not to like about Eco-Plastics mission?
I decided to start creating simple Bark Butter Feeders and Suet Plug Feeders out of the boards. These feeders work well to attract most all the woodpeckers we have in our region. I've also seen Wrens, Catbirds, and Blue Jays clinging to the feeders.
If you're interested in one of these feeders, stop by the store and check them out! And don't forget to bring back your Wild Birds Unlimited birdseed bags. We couldn't have made these products without you and your seed bags.
*Disclaimer* Our goal in this project is to recycle the plastic bag waste our store generates. It has never been our intention to rid the world of plastic waste. WE ONLY RECYCLE WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED BIRD SEED BAGS! If you wish to recycle bags from other stores please take them to Eco-Plastics on your own or you could also ask the business you get bags from to start recycling their bags. Thanks.
Got a Project? Eco Plastic Products sells benches, picnic tables, garden boxes, and boards made out of recycled plastic. In order for recycling to truly work, you need to purchase products made from recycled materials. Ecoplasticproducts.org