Bag Blog

Crockett Elementary Crushes the Competition In Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge

Corpus Christi (April 30, 2013) — In a five-month-long race to recycle the most plastic bags, Crockett Elementary School has emerged the clear winner, collecting 76,731 bags, nearly one-third of what was gathered citywide. For their hard work, Corpus Christi Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Elliff rewarded the students with a Trex bench made from 10,000 recycled bags, during a special assembly Tuesday.

“These kids knocked it out of the park,” said Dr. Elliff. “Day after day, week after week they brought their bags to school to be recycled and got into the habit of not throwing them away. Educating students about the 3Rs — reduce, reuse, recycle — at an early age is a big win for us all and a valuable learning experience for their parents as well.”

The competition kicked off to celebrate America Recycles Day, November 14, and ended on Earth Day, April 22, as a way to inspire, excite and challenge students and their parents to recycle. Thousands of retailers across Texas have collection bins in their stores and will take back the bags, as well as other plastic wraps. 

In all, 14 schools in the CCISD signed up for the Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge, collecting 237,028 bags. Challenge sponsors included the City of Corpus Christi, CCISD, the Texas Retailers Association, Trex Company and A Bag’s Life. 

“It’s exciting for us to see that a terrific lesson was learned and that a lot of fun was had along the way,” said Ronnie Volkening, President and CEO of the Texas Retailers Association. “Now that kids know they can recycle their bags at many Corpus Christi stores, and at thousands of locations across Texas, they hopefully will remind their parents when the family goes shopping.”

Those locations can be found on the A Bag’s Life ( website.

In addition to Crockett, the following schools took part in the challenge — Evans SES, Los Encinos SES, Metro E, Schanen Estates ES, Shaw SES, Woodlawn ES, Yeager ES, Zavala SES, Driscoll MS, Hamlin MS, South Park MS, Carroll HS and Moody HS. Each will receive a Trex birdhouse, made from approximately 250 recycled plastic bags.

“I guarantee these students will never look at a plastic bag the same way again,” said Crockett Elementary Principal Aurelia Barrera. “Every time they see this bench, they’ll be reminded that a small act like recycling plastic bags can lead to good things. And from the response we got, we know their parents also had a teachable moment!”

Trex holds the Challenge nationwide. This year, 345 schools participated in the program and collected over 9 million plastic bags. The Virginia-based company announced on Earth Day that it had saved 2.5 billion pounds of plastic and wood scrap from landfills over the past six years, converting it into eco-friendly outdoor products, including high-performance composite decking.

Nationwide, plastic bag recycling is on the rise, with more than 1 billion pounds of plastic bags and films collected for recycling in the United States in 2011.

Pictured, left to right: Rose Yocum, Crockett ES Assistant Principal; HEBuddy; Rosario Parks, Crockett ES Teacher and Coordinator of the Plastic Bag Recycling Challenge for the campus; Irene, Customer Service Rep from H-E-B; Norma Munoz, Paraprofessional; Sheryl Garcia, Director of Customer Service Gulf Coast Region, H-E-B; Claudia Garcia, Teacher; Lawrence Mikolajczyk, Director of Solid Waste Operations, City of Corpus Christi; Aurelia Barrera, Crockett ES Principal; Amy Garza, Teacher; Adriana Flores, Teacher