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Battle of the bags: Clark pushing for local control over plastic bag waste

May 7, 2018

The Norman Transcript,

May 7, 2018-

With a 92 percent participation rate, Norman is already the top recycling city in the state, but Ward 6 council member Breea Clark believes Norman can blaze a new environmental trail by becoming the first city in Oklahoma to take an active role in cutting back on plastic bags. Non recyclable plastic bags continue to plague facilities like Republic Services which processes Norman’s recyclables. Republic Services Municipal Services Manager Crystal Bennet said plastic bags were once recyclable, but the commodity driven market has made it untenable, especially with China’s announcement earlier this year that it would no longer accept them.

“There are tons of it and it’s really bad for the recycling stream for a number of reasons,” she said. Despite the diligence of workers who remove the bags by hand, Bennet said some inevitably make it through, and not without incident. “The plastic wrap gets wound around the mechanisms of the machines and good recycling gets wrapped up in the plastic, so good recycling has to be thrown out,” she said.

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