S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., the international consumer products giant, is shining its worldwide public relations spotlight on Bradley Beach this week.
The borough and the Wisconsin-based company officially announced New Jersey’s first pilot program for curbside plastic film recycling.
Bradley Beach residents will be able to recycle their clean plastic bags, plastic film and plastic wrap at curbside beginning Nov. 13.
“Making it easier for people to recycle plastic is one of the best ways to reduce waste,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of SC Johnson, as the firm now markets itself. “We’re proud to join Bradley Beach in this effort, and we thank the community for its leadership. I hope this is the first of many more pilot programs around the U.S.”
“This is a win for the environment, a win for Bradley Beach residents and a win for the plastic recycling market,” said Mayor Gary Engelstad. “By participating in this program, residents can help safeguard our coast and minimize our plastic waste. We thank SC Johnson for helping us make this a reality.”
At its meeting earlier this week, the council approved an ordinance providing for the purchase of a 2019 Kubota vehicle to pick up the plastic monthly at the curbside of each residence in the borough. SC Johnson will reimburse the borough for the cost of the vehicle.
The council approved participation in the project by a unanimous vote in August. The pilot program is scheduled to run through November 2020.
Beginning on Nov. 13, residents will be asked to put clean and dry plastic film items into a plastic bag, tie the top of the bag, put the bag in a curbside bin which will be provided, and place the curbside bin next to their recycling bin on the date of collection. The items will then be picked up and transported for recycling. Once collected, the borough’s Department of Public Works will sell the film to an end-market purchaser.
In addition to the cost of the pickup vehicle, SC Johnson is paying for the curbside bins and community engagement materials to raise awareness.
Councilman John Weber, credited by the mayor with bringing SC Johnson and the borough together, displayed a mockup of a postcard which will be sent to households before the program starts.
Weber urged citizens to participate in the voluntary program, though Councilman Harold Cotler suggested that resident treat the program as if it were mandatory.
SC Johnson invited other towns to consider curbside recycling for plastic film. For more information, municipalities can contact SC Johnson at 262-260-2440.
The privately owned company has undertaken a number of efforts to help reduce plastic waste. SC Johnson says that 94 percent of its plastic packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable. The goal is 100 percent by 2025, the company says.
Earlier this year, SC Johnson launched its first 100 percent ocean plastic bottle made from plastic waste collected within 30 miles of an ocean or waterway in countries that lack effective, formal waste collection.