Thomasville, GA -- March 29, 2012 --
Pencils? Check. Books? Check. Used Grocery Bags? Check. That's what students at Harper Elementary are bringing to help aid a new recycling program that started this week.
"It started because the price of everything plastic is going up with the price of gasoline and oil," said David Carvin, the man behind the program.
Carvin owns Textraw, a company that makes synthetic pine straw out of recycled polypropylene, or plastic grocery bags. Business costs were going up, so he tried to find a local recycler. Enter the Thomasville city schools.
"That's what turned into our collection day, everybody thought it was a wonderful idea and they all wanted to start a pilot program for the K through five system," said Carvin.
It starts with a simple plastic bag. That bag can then be melted down into pellets, which can be turned into straw or other smaller granules which can then be recycled into water bottles or chairs.
Partnered with Keep Thomas County Beautiful and the city's landfill, the goal is to teach students not to be wasteful at a young age.
"We hope to teach our students that these things have value, that they don't belong on the side of the roads, or in the trees, but they have value," said Pam Lister, the Executive Director of Keep Thomas County Beautiful.
Carvin said that an estimated $5,000,000 worth of plastic bags ends up landfilled throughout the country per year.