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Montgomery County's Department of Environmental Protection Partners with ProAmpac's Trinity Packaging Division and Braskem's I'm greenTM PE to Reduce the County's Carbon Footprint

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 2, 2018

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Maryland Environmental Service (MES) have taken another step to protect the environment in Montgomery County, finding new packaging for Leafgro®, the County’s composted soil enrichment product. The new packaging is a sustainable resource made from sugarcane.

 "The new sustainable packaging for Leafgro® is another excellent example of our commitment to sustainability and recycling in Montgomery County," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. "I am proud of our Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Solid Waste Services for their leadership in accomplishing another environmentally-friendly innovation."

 Leafgro® is made from composted leaves and grass collected from around the County which is converted into a soil conditioner. If not for the composting option, the leaves and grass clippings used to make the rich organic compost would be combusted. Production of Leafgro® bags recently increased to 650,000 bags from 500,000 bags per fiscal year via agreement between the County and the Sugarloaf Citizens’ Association, a Dickerson area citizens’ group.

 Montgomery County directed MES to procure bags that contained the maximum viable content of bio-based polyethylene.  MES awarded the new Leafgro® bioplastic bag contract to ProAmpac's Trinity Packaging Division, a manufacturer of plastics products. The new Leafgro® bag contains 88 percent polyethylene resin made from sugarcane. This resin is a Braskem product known as I’m greenTM polyethylene (PE). Cultivation of sugarcane has a negative carbon footprint which helps the County to reduce its carbon footprint. Leafgro® compost is sold throughout the U.S. mid-East Coast in "big box" stores and in select home and garden centers. Leafgro® will be sold to distributors in its new plant-based packaging starting April 2018.

 "This Department's mission is to continue to be a leader in managing municipal solid waste. Being a leader means continuing to innovate and to move the County forward in environmentally-responsible ways," said DEP acting director Patty Bubar. The composting operation we manage in conjunction with our partner, Maryland Environmental Service, has continued to be innovative. Decisions about the materials we use to package the finished product are part of our 'lifecycle' approach to materials management. The adoption of plant-based packaging for our composting materials is a major step forward as we continue to look for the most environmentally-responsible methods to recycle materials that would otherwise wind up in the trash."

 For more information on the DEP composting program, visit the Montgomery County Yard Trim Composting Facility at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/sws/facilities/cf/.

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Release ID: 18-499
Media Contact: Judy Stiles 240-777-6507