Island Green Living to Recycle Ocean & Landfill-Bound Plastic with PADNOS

St. John, USVI – February 18, 2022 – With U.S. Virgin Islands dignitaries sharing in the celebration, non-profit Island Green Living Association in partnership with PADNOS, officially launched their groundbreaking program to jumpstart the recycling of single-use plastics on St. John today. The Ocean-Bound Plastics Recycling Program, a first for the island, will allow RINSED #1, 2 and 5 plastics to be reclaimed and recycled rather than polluting the sea. Governor Albert Bryan Jr., Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett and Senate President Donna Frett-Gregory joined President Harith Wickrema & Executive Director Kelly McKinney of Island Green Living in cutting the ribbon.

“While recycling is what we are forging ahead with today, it is vital to remember that recycling should be the last step,” said Wickrema, president of Island Green Living. “RETHINK before you purchase single-use plastic. If there is no other option, REDUCE wherever possible. Next REUSE existing plastic and finally – let’s RECYCLE. With the help of our Governor, Department of Education and our elected officials, we can spread the message of the importance of source separation and emulate the best practices of a sustainable circular community.”

“The circular economy is the future,” added McKinney, Island Green Living’s executive director. “We must start thinking about the end of a product’s life in a more sustainable manner than sitting unproductively in a landfill. Recycling is an important cog in the wheel of sustainable materials management. Single use plastics should be avoided but once
plastic is part of the waste stream, the Ocean-Bound Plastics Recycling Program aims to mitigate and reclaim this material that would otherwise pollute our territory’s waterways and overwhelm our landfills.”

Similar to Island Green Living’s Aluminum Recycling Program, these plastics will be sorted and baled and then shipped to PADNOS, a Michigan-based, fourth-generation, family-owned recycling partner, where the raw materials will gain a new lease on life. PADNOS has committed to purchasing and transporting (on deadheaded shipping containers – containers that otherwise would have returned empty – when possible) all aluminum and plastics collected by Island Green Living.

“We are honored to be representing PADNOS at this dedication. Since 1905 PADNOS has been living our purpose statement: Continue to find ways to innovate, lead and make a positive impact in this world. Today is no different. This production center represents the innovation of a 42-year PADNOS veteran, Bob Herweyer and the PADNOS IXL Fabrication Team. The fact that it is sitting here, at Island Green Living, is a testament to the PADNOS leaderships’ ability to create a space where long-term vision and short-term execution can collaborate with great customers such as Orbis Corporation and create sustainable solutions to modern day challenges. We are happy to be a part of this transformation and
look forward to expanding in the region,” said Gary Barnett, Director of Plastics at PADNOS.

PADNOS has provided Island Green Living with a baler that is retrofitted inside a converted shipping container, so the processing operation is fully self-contained. They have also contributed towards a new pick-up truck and will soon provide bins that will be placed at key WMA trash sites throughout the island. Island Green Living will start regular collection of plastics AND aluminum at these locales in the next several weeks. The community can also drop off recyclables now at Island Green Living’s site located behind VITEMA on Gifft Hill Road just off Centerline, which has served for years as a collection point for aluminum cans. Additionally, the organization is offering a paid pick-up service to local bars and restaurants.

Most commonly used plastics have a resin code listed somewhere on the material, typically on the bottom. Island Green Living can accept #1, 2 and 5 plastics which include items such as water & soda bottles (caps off but please include), some food containers, peanut butter jars, milk jugs, shampoo & detergent bottles, yogurt containers, etc. Styrofoam and items like plastic utensils, bags, etc. cannot be accepted.

As one of the architects of the territory’s bans on plastic bags, straws, and toxic sunscreen, working closely with the Governor and legislature on education and advocacy, Island Green Living is staunchly committed to eliminating plastic and other pollutants from the environment.

Recycling allows the usefulness of materials to be extended as valuable new products. It reduces the mining of virgin resources which in turn cuts the energy and greenhouse gas emissions from the production of raw materials. This circular model replaces the current linear model and has environmental and economic benefits. Please support efforts with a contribution to https://islandgreenliving.org/donate/

About Island Green Living
Established in 2004, Island Green Living Association is a registered 501 (c)( 3) not for profit organization on
St. John dedicated to sustainability throughout the USVI. www.islandgreenliving.org.

Founded in 1905, PADNOS is a family-owned and operated recycling company located in Michigan and
Indiana, USA with national and global reach. With diverse processing capabilities, PADNOS is able to
collaborate and innovate with customers to provide sustainable scrap solutions. Continuous improvement
is at the core of the company’s history and culture, enabling PADNOS to take on today’s biggest
sustainability challenges. With over 25 locations, PADNOS provides accurate and efficient scrap
management for industrial manufacturers in addition to helping individual community members turn their
discarded material into renewable resources. PADNOS is headquartered in Holland, Michigan, USA. For
more information, visit www.PADNOS.com.

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