Milwaukee Pilot Program Looks to Boost Recycling of Plastic Bags, Wraps

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has partnered with the American Chemistry Council’s Flexible Film Recycling Group and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) on an innovative public/private plastic film recycling initiative called Wisconsin WRAP (Wrap Recycling Action Project)—Recycling Plastic Film Beyond Bags. This partnership focuses on recycling more plastic film found in nearly every business and household to significantly increase the recycling rate.

After assessing the existing infrastructure, WRAP Partners launched programs across the state. The most recent is an educational campaign in Milwaukee at ten Roundy’s retail locations. The program installed new plastic film collection bins and educates shoppers to return the items shown below to the store bins and not in their curbside recycling. Roundy’s recycles the material with the Trex Company, which turns it into composite decking or pellets for the manufacture of other products like new bags or pipe. If you’re in Milwaukee, share your photos of bag and film recycling in action on Facebook.


Milwaukee Press Release, May 2015
Roundy's stores in Milwaukee launch a consumer awareness campaign.

DNR Press Release, May 2014
Schools across Wisconsin participated in film recycling challenge.

DNR Press Release, April 2014
DNR joins partnership to reduce plastic waste and increase film recycling.

DNR Small Business Advisor, July 2013
Information about a new plastic film recycling initiative.

RILA Article, July 2013
New resources from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to facilitate recycling.

DNR Press Release, May 2013
State's Council on Recycling seeks public input on plastics recycling.

American Chemistry Council Press Release, February 2013
New Public-Private partnership to boost plastic film recycling in Wisconsin.

DNR Press Release, February 2013
New plastics recycling study shows potential for economic growth.

Plastic Items

Sign up to Join Milwaukee as a WRAP Champion!

Does your community have a plastic bag and wrap recycling program already in place? Or are you interested in starting a program? Join this ambitious new initiative to keep plastic wrap out of landfills and recycle it instead. Be recognized as a WRAP Champion by doing simple steps like spreading the word or updating drop-off location information. SIGN UP OR LOG IN HERE.


  • Tips
    Know more about what, how and where to recycle
    Learn More
  • The Dropoff Directory
    Where to recycle plastic bags and

How Can You Play Your Part?

Being a part of WRAP helps the environment, the economy and fits into your sustainability objectives.

Take Action

Sponsors & Partners

waste management logobemis logoziploc logoTrex logoRoundy's logoCity of Milwaukee logo

Statewide Public Awareness Campaign

wrap bannerClick to view photo gallery

WRAP partners and sponsors are proud to support campaigns in areas around the state, including the city of Milwaukee, and Dunn, Outagamie, and Eau Claire counties. The campaigns seek to educate consumers about recycling plastic film beyond bags at participating stores and improve recycling rates. For more information, contact Shari Jackson


URGENT! If your store currently accepts bags and wrap from your customers, add your location(s) information to the Drop-Off Directory. Download this worksheet to help you collect store location data.

We are also looking for retailers to participate in the statewide educational campaign by adopting the plastic film recycling poster and educating consumers on the recyclability of bags and wraps. Click here to learn more, send store locations or to participate in a campaign in your area.


As part of the consumer awareness campaign, many Wisconsin schools participated in the Trex School Challenge, a school competition in which schools around the nation collect bags and film for recycling from November to April each school year. Any interested public or private K-12 school in Wisconsin can collect, weigh and recycle plastic film and bags. For more information about the competition, contact the Trex Company.

Recyclers, Haulers Distributors

US, Canada capacityClick to Enlarge

Companies like yours provide the critical collection network to capture valuable scrap out of the commercial sector. Please get listed in the Recycler Directory and let more of your customers know about benefits to collecting plastic film.

The marketplace is changing, with less demand from Asian markets, but there are a number of domestic end markets for CLEAN, DRY polyethylene film. Use our tip sheets for information on how to optimize collection and quality. Additionally, the Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers (APR) has developed an array of sample bale specifications for general use.

Responsible Units (Local Government)

new wisconsinClick to Enlarge

Sign up to join WRAP, then encourage your residents and businesses to recycle their film and bags, and help populate the Recycler and Drop-Off Directories with organizations from your community. And, please consider sharing plastic film recycling information with your community on your website or through newsletters.

Manufacturers & Brand Companies

WRAP seeks help manufacturers turn waste into profit. Contact us to discover how plastic film is used and disposed of, and how best to structure a recycling program that benefits your company and your community.


Look for these new bag and film recycling bins at participating stores throughout the city


Milwaukee Commissioner of Public Work Ghassan A. Korban welcomes attendees to the launch of the WRAP consumer awareness campaign on October 10, 2013.


Trex Company Director of Material Resources Dave Heglas discusses the use of recycled plastic bags and wraps in his company's products.


Mayor Tom Barrett calls recycling plastic bags and wraps a 'no brainer' that saves the city money on waste disposal -- at right is a display of examples of the many plastic bags and wraps that can be recycled.


Mayor Barrett recycles plastic bags and wraps at a Pick 'n Save grocery store.


Commissioner Korban thanks the campaign sponsors from Ziploc Brand Bags, Bemis Company and Waste Management.


Trex bench made with recycled plastic bags and wraps.

COVID-19 and Plastic Film Recycling

NOTE: Plastic bags/wraps typically do not get recycled in curbside bins. They must be returned to participating drop-off locations such as retail stores for recycling.

Thank you for recycling your plastic bags and wraps.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, we urge you to recycle your plastic bags, wraps, and other film packaging at drop-off locations ONLY WHEN AND WHERE POSSIBLE.

Some stores have temporarily halted collection of plastic bags and wraps. And some of you are not able to venture out. If either is the case, please collect your bags/wraps at home until events change. Bags/wraps can be compressed and stored inside another plastic bag.

As always, please follow the direction of your local and state public health officials, and do not shop or take anything to a store/drop-off if there’s reason to suspect anyone in your household has been exposed to the coronavirus. If you do shop, please take appropriate steps to help protect store employees so they can continue to provide essential products during this crisis.

Thank you for your support of plastic film recycling. Recycling contributes to sustainability and provides valuable materials for American manufacturers, so we encourage you to continue recycling when and where possible.

Be safe.

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