SGA, Sustainability turning bags to benches
Radford University’s Student Government Association (SGA) and Sustainability office have joined a community effort to collect unwanted plastic bags and recycle them into benches that will be placed around campus.
Bags are being collected in a recycling bin outside Starbucks in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Science building.
“Until we can stop using plastic bags, the best thing to do is recycle them,” said Radford University Sustainability Manager Josh Nease. “Everyone has drawer at home stuffed full of them. So, bring your stash. Bring your neighbor’s stash, and help give the plastic bags a new life as a bench.”
It takes 40,000 plastic bags to construct one bench. “We want to get as many benches as possible to spread around campus,” said SGA Deputy Vice President Blair Hurst.
Once enough plastic bags are collected, they will be shipped to the outdoor decking and furniture company, Trex, to be recycled into a bench.
“Bags for Benches is a very effective and important way to get students to recycle plastic bags in return for a bench that can stay at the university for years to come,” said SGA Secretary for Sustainability Karla Colina, a junior Recreation, Parks and Tourism major from Winchester.
Bags to Benches is an effort that began with the New River Resource Authority (NRRA) in 2015. Hurst, who works for NRRA, and Colina helped bring the initiative to campus. The two, along with other SGA members, will have the unenviable task of counting the 40,000 bags.
The more bags donated to the university, the more benches it will receive. “Ideally, we would like to have a bench for each academic department,” said Hurst, a senior political science major from Dublin. “It’s a small way to make a big difference.”