Stop “Wishcycling” and Make Your Recycling Wishes Come True with Trex

November 15, 2022

Today (November 15) is America Recycles Day, a nationwide observance that recognizes the importance and impact of recycling for the protection of our environment. In recognition of the observance, today’s blog post focuses on “wishcycling,” the latest buzzword for the act of putting items in a recycling bin and hoping they will be recycled. We’ve all done it at some point and, while our intentions may be good, let’s face it, most of us have no idea where our materials end up or whether our efforts are even worth it. But there’s good news. Thanks to our long-standing client, Trex Company, there is something you can do that will make a difference – no wishing involved.

With the NexTrex® recycling program, you not only know exactly where your contributions are going but how they will be used. NexTrex is a material sourcing program for Trex, the world’s leading producer of composite decking, which is sustainably made from 95% recycled and reclaimed content including a mix of industrial wood scrap and polyethylene (PE) film. Each year, the company upcycles more than 1 billion (yes, with a B!) pounds of would-be waste in the making of its industry-leading composite decking, including in excess of 430 million pounds of polyethylene plastic film, making it one of the largest recyclers of plastic film in North America.

Nearly all of the plastic film used in the Trex manufacturing process comes from post-consumer sources, including such everyday items as grocery bags, newspaper sleeves and cereal package liners, along with bubble wrap, case overwrap and stretch film used to palletize boxes.

Trex uses more than 1.5 billion plastic bags each year to make its high-performance, low-maintenance and eco-friendly outdoor living products. To put things into perspective, the boards used to build an average 500 square-foot Trex deck contain approx. 140,000 recycled plastic bags – giving them new life and saving them from winding up in landfill where they would take more than 1,000 years to degrade. You can watch Trex’s upcycling process from start to finish in this animated video.

Wondering how to get involved in responsible recycling? Simply separate plastic film items from other recyclables and bring them to one of the more than 32,000 grocery stores and major retailers across the country with front-of-store collections bins. A list of participating drop-off locations in your area can be found here.

The following commonly used items are accepted as recyclable through the NexTrex program: 

  • Grocery and retail bags 
  • Bread bags 
  • Case overwraps 
  • Dry cleaning bags 
  • Newspaper sleeves 
  • Ice bags 
  • Ziploc and other re-closable bags 
  • Produce bags 
  • Cereal box liners 
  • Bubble wrap 
  • Salt bags 
  • Wood pellet bags 

Basically, if it stretches, it qualifies. Look for the #2 or #4 recycling symbols to indicate polyethylene films and make sure materials are clean, dry, and free from contamination. A complete list of qualifying items can be found on the Trex website.

We look forward to continuing to help bring awareness to our client’s programs that make a positive impact on our community and environment. Happy recycling!