600 E. Water Street, Suite C Charlottesville, VA 22902



Energy Bag



The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program is a groundbreaking initiative that collects previously non-recycled plastics – like the candy wrappers and juice pouches always thrown away – at curbside and converts them into energy resources. The program is complimentary to mechanical recycling.

The Hefty® EnergyBag™ program is a step towards achieving positive long-term environmental and economic advantages, including alternative energy resources and fewer tons of valuable plastics ending up as landfill trash.

How it Works:

In Citrus Heights, single family homes were asked to fill their bags with clean and dry plastics that were not currently accepted for mechanical recycling. Then, the residents placed their bags in their recycling bins for scheduled curbside recycling pickup by their local haulers. The bags were manually sorted at a local material recycling facility (MRF), baled and then sent to a nearby energy recovery facility where they were converted into energy sources through the use of plastic-to-energy technologies.

Environmental Benefits:

  • The diversion of valuable resources from landfills
  • Waste is converted into alternative energy, which can be used to power cars and homes
  • Existing recycling programs become more efficient
  • Reduction of new fossil fuels extracted from the ground

Key Learnings

  • Multi-materials flexible plastic packaging and miscellaneous non-recyclable plastic items can be collected at curbside and integrated into an existing recycling program.
  • Contamination levels can be controlled.
  • Colored bags are easy to sort and did not create contamination at the MRF.
  • Communication, planning and project management are critical components of a successful program.

Additional Information

Phase 1 Partners

Citrus Height Pilot Program Partners

  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Republic Services
  • Flexible Packaging Association (FPA)
  • Agilyx
  • Reynolds Consumer Products
  • The American Chemistry Council (ACC)
  • City of Citrus Heights, California

Omaha Hefty® EnergyBag™ Program Partners

  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • Reynolds Consumer Products
  • First Star Recycling
  • Conagra Brands
  • Systech Enviro Corp.
  • Recyclebank

Website: https://www.heftyenergybag.com

Other Resources:

Join the packaging industry’s leading companies, become an SPC member today!

Become a Member