Evening Lions kick off community drive to turn plastic bags into benches

(Above) Members of the Clear Lake Evening Lions Club have kicked off a drive to collect plastic bags and turn them into benches

by Lisa Riggin

As a civic club dedicated to community service, the Clear Lake Evening Lions are always on the prowl for ways to help.  Kathy Larsen, in her role as the club’s community service chair, knew she had pounced on a good idea when she found out about Trex, a recycling company actively supporting community efforts to recycle plastic bags and wrap.

“It’s been 52 years since the first Earth Day. A lot has been accomplished, but the challenges keep mounting. An effort like this reminds us that we can make a difference when we work together,” said Larsen.

Much of the plastic that humans have created still exists in the environment and it’s piling up.  Every year over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are used, but a mere 10 percent are recycled, according to EPA estimates.  Trex Recycling, through their NexTrex program, works with communities, schools and businesses to annually reclaim and repurpose more than 500 million pounds of plastic film and reclaimed wood.

The Evening Lions are partnering with Clear Creek Elementary School in this effort. 

Grade levels will be collecting bags throughout the remainder of this school year.  The public can send bags with a Clear Creek student and help them win the class challenge. Additional drop-off bins are located at Randy’s and Fareway grocery stores in Clear Lake.

In late May, additional collection bins will be available to the community. Local businesses and organizations interested in hosting a bin inside their facility can email Larsen at m-klars@hotmail.com for more details. 

Members of the Evening Lions club will be available to answer questions about Bags to Benches during the Green Expo at the Surf Ballroom Thursday, April 21, from 4-7 p.m.

When the community effort reaches at least 500 pounds of recyclable plastics (40,500 pieces) the club will receive a plastic bench made from recycled materials to commemorate the collective achievement. In true Lions’ fashion, the bench will be placed at Clear Creek’s Outdoor Classroom in recognition of the students’ enthusiastic participation in the drive and commitment to improving the world for us all.

“The goal is a big one,” Larsen

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