The Dow Chemical Company is again teaming up with national nonprofit and long-standing collaborator Keep America Beautiful to award up to $100,000 in grants for organizations to establish Hefty® EnergyBag® programs in their communities. The Hefty® EnergyBag® program, led by Dow and Reynolds Consumer Products, offers an innovative approach to diverting hard-to-recycle plastics, such as chip bags, standup pouches, candy wrappers and juice pouches, from landfills and converting the materials into valuable resources.
For the third year, the 2019 Hefty® EnergyBag® grant program will offer up to $100,000 in grants to select communities across the nation. The first permanent Hefty® EnergyBag® program launched in the Omaha area in October 2016. As part of the 2017 grant program, Dow awarded $50,000 each to organizations in Boise, Idaho, and Cobb County, Georgia (Keep Cobb Beautiful Inc.) to establish the program in their respective communities. Boise launched the Hefty® EnergyBag® program in May 2018, and Cobb County will kick off its local program toward the end of this year. Next month, Dow will announce the winner(s) of its second grant program that closed on June 30.
“We’re pleased to continue our relationship with Keep America Beautiful and offer communities across the nation an opportunity to establish the Hefty EnergyBag program as part of their existing waste management infrastructure,” said Jon Pyper, associate director of sustainability & advocacy for Dow. “The Omaha-area and Boise programs have already proven the success of the program by generating strong community involvement and diverting tons of plastic waste from landfills. We’re eager to continue expanding this program to new communities across the country for a third year.”
The grant application is open to municipalities, nonprofits, materials recovery facilities and other qualifying organizations through Jan. 31, 2019. Dow will equip grant recipients with a framework for developing a successful Hefty® EnergyBag® program in their communities, and will facilitate planning, implementation and measurement. Recipients will manage their local programs and solicit involvement from key community stakeholders. Dow and Keep America Beautiful will host two one-hour webinars on Nov. 7 and Dec. 12 to review the application process and describe how they will evaluate grant applications.
Dow’s long-standing relationship with Keep America Beautiful is built on more than 10 years of collaboration through the Great American Cleanup. This annual event is the largest community improvement program in the U.S., which provides an opportunity to engage employees, customers and communities for environmental impact.
“The Hefty EnergyBag program is an exciting opportunity that directly supports Keep America Beautiful’s commitment to reducing waste in communities across the country,” said Helen Lowman, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “We look forward to continuing our relationships with Dow and other organizations that see the value in reducing landfill waste and improving waste management.”
To date, Hefty® EnergyBag® curbside and non-curbside programs have collected more than 276,000 bags and diverted over 181 tons of hard-to-recycle plastic from landfills – the equivalent of 865 barrels of diesel fuel. The Hefty® EnergyBag® grant program demonstrates Dow’s commitment to advancing a circular economy as part of its 2025 Sustainability Goals.