The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has taken another step to protect the environment. DEP will partner with Braskem’s I’m Green™ polyethylene (PE) and ProAmpac’s Trinity Packaging Division to provide packaging for the County’s compost product, Leafgro®. The new wrapping is a sustainable resource made from sugarcane.
“I made the commitment to improving the County’s environment a priority for my administration,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “Adopting this more environmentally-responsible packaging product reflects this commitment, as well demonstrating the County’s embrace of the Governor’s Sustainable Materials Management Policy. I commend DEP and the Division of Solid Waste Services for their leadership in achieving this important accomplishment.”
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.
Leafgro® brand compost, is sold throughout the U.S. mid-East Coast in “big box” stores and in select home and garden centers. Once our composting facility has worked through its existing stock of regular (fossil-based) bags, Leafgro® will begin to be sold to distributors in its new, plant-based packaging — early April, 2018.
The partnership with Braskem and ProAmpac ensures that future Leafgro® packaging will be 100% based on I’m Green sugarcane bioplastic. This means it is produced from renewable resources that are carbon negative to help the County reduce its carbon footprint.
“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 an innovator – reflected in their ISO 14001: 2015 certification. Decisions about the materials that are part of the composting process, and the materials we use to package the finished product are both part of our ‘lifecycle’ approach to waste management. The ability to adopt 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, go to the Montgomery County Yard Trim Composting Facility.