DNREC partners with nonprofit to convert plastic bags to park benches

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 The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is buying benches made from recycled material.

Earlier this month, Gov. John Carney joined Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin  to tour the facility where Delaware State Parks will have 15 benches made from plastic bags.

In 2020, the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation converted its plastic carry-in carry-out bags at Delaware State Parks to corn and paper products. Left with an excess of plastic bags, the division worked with Eco Plastic Products of Delaware, a non-profit organization, to have the plastic bags turned into benches for Delaware State Parks.

Eco Plastic is located near Wilmington.

Each bench will be made of 127 pounds of plastic bags  about  30,000 bags. The excess plastic bags weighed about 2,000 pounds, the equivalent of about 450,000 plastic bags and enough to produce 15 benches for the parks. The benches will be placed throughout Delaware State Parks with informational plaques regarding  the benches and the ivision’s Carry-in, Carry-Out Trash-Free Parks Program.

Carry-In, Carry-Out, which was implemented in Delaware State Parks in 1994, asks visitors to take their trash with them when they leave, reducing the strain on limited resources, and increasing the beauty of the parks. The corn and paper bags now used in state parks are available to help visitors participate in the program. This program promotes recycling and has saved Delaware State Parks millions of dollars. It also helps keep Delaware State Parks cleaner for all visitors.

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