September, 2008
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Where Do All Those Recycled Grocery Bags Go?


Seven out of every 10 recycled grocery bags in the United States end up at Trex™, a Winchester, Va.-based manufacturer of alternative decking, railing, fencing and trim products. 

Trex’s composite products are made of a unique combination of wood and plastic fibers from reclaimed or recycled resources, including sawdust and used pallets from woodworking operations, and about 1.5 billion recycled plastic grocery bags a year from all over the country.

As one of the largest plastic bag recyclers in the United States, the company sponsors several community-based recycling programs at major national and retail chains.

It joined with Penn Jersey Paper and Goodwill Industries to launch the BagSmart™ program. Consumers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey deposit their plastic bags in recycling bins at participating stores. In turn, Goodwill Industries collects, sorts and ships them to Trex to be used in their composite products.

The company has also seen success with its Plastic Bag Challenge program among schools in Virginia, Georgia and Northeast areas.

School-wide competitions are held to see who can collect the most plastic bags to recycle with Trex. Kids get excited and interested in recycling early.

The company invites anyone interested in starting a recycling program in his or her community, school or university, to contact it at

Trex is truly committed to being environmentally friendly. Its manufacturing process is as green as its final products. Trailers are hydraulically powered with vegetable-based oil and its proprietary processing method eliminates smokestacks. Factory runoff/refuse is recycled back into the manufacturing line. Learn more about Trex products and processes at