Trex Launches 16th Annual Plastic Film Recycling Challenge
Composite Decking Leader Engages K-12 Students in Nationwide Recycling Competition

October 18, 2022 09:15 ET | Source: Trex Company, Inc

WINCHESTER, Va., Oct. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of composite decking and railing, is calling on K-12 students across the country to join the Trex® Plastic Film Recycling Challenge for a chance to win prizes for their schools by giving new life to discarded plastic film. Now in its 16th year, the annual competition challenges students to collect and recycle as much polyethylene (PE) plastic film as possible over a five-month period between America Recycles Day (Nov. 15) and Earth Day (April 22). In addition to earning national recognition, top-performing schools can win high-performance Trex outdoor living products for their campuses as well as cash prizes to use toward educational programming and supplies.

Built on eco-friendly values, Trex’s world-famous composite decking is sustainably made from 95% recycled materials, including a mix of industrial wood scrap and plastic film upcycled from common household items such as grocery/shopping bags, sandwich bags, case overwrap, newspaper sleeves and more. Each year, the company repurposes in excess of 1 billion pounds of reclaimed materials in the making of its products, including more than 430 million pounds of plastic film, making it one of the largest recyclers of PE in North America.

“The Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge provides students with a firsthand appreciation for the importance of recycling and an understanding that value can be found in something that was once considered waste,” said Stephanie Hicks, materials sourcing manager for Trex Company. “Our turnkey program brings together thousands of students from coast to coast in a joint effort to make a global impact on plastic waste.”

For the second year, participants in the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge will have opportunities to win cash prizes for their schools, thanks to returning corporate sponsor Charter Next Generation (CNG). The leading provider of specialty PE films to the North American market will present $5,000 each to the individual elementary, middle and high schools that recycle the most plastic film in their categories during the collection period. Cash prizes of $3,000 and $2,500, respectively, will be awarded to the second and third place schools at each level. As extra motivation, CNG will award an additional $2,500 to the top recycling school overall – above and beyond their $5,000 category first-place prize.

CNG will also present cash rewards to schools that most creatively promote their recycling efforts through social media using the designated hashtags #TrexRecyclingChallenge and #Recycle2Win. Schools will be evaluated on number of posts, quality of content and creativity used to drive awareness of their participation and the importance of recycling on social media. Those with the most impactful social campaigns will be awarded gifts of $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third place.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Trex on the Plastic Film Recycling Challenge this year. By combining our efforts, Trex and CNG were able to bring the competition to more schools and recycle more material than in years past, which is directly in line with our commitment to being a sustainability leader in the industry. We are incredibly excited to build on that momentum and surpass our goal of over 1,000 schools participating in this year’s challenge,” said Kathy Bolhous, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Charter Next Generation.

In addition to the prizes awarded by CNG, Trex will reward top recyclers based on grade level, school size and region. The winning schools per capita will earn high-performance Trex products to help beautify their campuses, and all participants in the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge will receive a special gift from Trex in appreciation for their efforts and contributions.

The Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge is easy to implement for schools of any grade level and size. Once enrolled, schools receive a turnkey kit complete with detailed instructions, promotional materials, recycling bins and a list of qualifying recyclable materials. Participants simply weigh and report collection totals to Trex each month throughout the collection period before delivering the recycled plastic to designated Trex drop-off points in their communities. Schools can track their success and standings throughout the program via a dedicated leaderboard at

“Over the past 16 years, we’ve seen first-hand how this fun and engaging initiative inspires students to make eco-conscious choices for their schools, communities and lives,” noted Hicks. “Thanks to the determination of these bright, dedicated students, Trex has been able to divert millions of pounds of discarded plastic film from ending up in waterways and landfills by repurposing it into beautiful, sustainable Trex decking.”

The 16th annual Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge begins November 15, 2022, in conjunction with America Recycles Day. Schools can enroll by completing a short form at For more information, contact

About Trex Company, Inc.
Trex Company is the world’s largest manufacturer of high-performance wood-alternative decking and railing, with more than 30 years of product experience. The #1 brand in outdoor living is proud to have been named one of 2022’s 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers by Industry Week and to have made Forbes’ 2021 List of America’s Best Mid-Sized Companies. Stocked in more than 6,700 retail locations worldwide, Trex outdoor living products offer a wide range of style options with fewer ongoing maintenance requirements than wood, as well as a truly environmentally responsible choice. For more information, visit You also can follow Trex on Twitter (@Trex_Company), Instagram (@trexcompany) Pinterest (trexcompany), or Houzz (trex-company-inc), “like” Trex on Facebook (@trexcompany), or view product and demonstration videos on the brand’s YouTube channel (TheTrexCo).

About Charter Next Generation
Charter Next Generation is North America’s leading independent producer of high-performance, specialty films used in flexible packaging and other end-use markets. Known for sustainable, innovative products and world-class manufacturing capabilities, the company’s quality and expertise are unsurpassed. Its sustainability-first mindset, and relentless pursuit of excellence, make it an ideal partner to help brand owners reach their long-term sustainability goals. Visit Charter Next Generation at:

Twitter : Sally B Chemistry (@SallyBChemistry)

Please like my post so we can win the Recycling Month Madness! #TrexRecyclingChallenge and #Recycle2Win @ryeacademy #ryehighschool @deliabajukrecycles

Mayor Visits Maple Grove Elementary to Join In On Recycle2Win

Mayor Neitzke along with Alderperson Denise Collins and Alderperson Shirley Saryan stopped by Maple Grove today to help with the plastic collection! Thanks for all your help!

As a reminder, over Spring Break (March 28-April 15) there will be plastic collections in the entryway of Maple Grove that you may use M-F from 8:30-3.

The last day to donate plastic is April 15! #trexrecyclingchallenge #Recycle2win

Local community turns plastic waste into a place to rest your feet

YORK COUNTY, Va.- This may look like an ordinary bench.

And she looks like she’s just throwing away trash. But it’s much more.

“We take plastic bags and other stretch film and consumer films, mix it with hardwood sawdust, extrude it and make beautiful outdoor decking products.” says Stephanie Hicks. She’s the Materials Sourcing Manager at the Trex processing Center in Winchester, Virginia…

5 Years of Recycling Excellence

Gayle Allen is a Kindergarten Teacher at Springfield Greenspring Elementary School in West Virginia! This small school has just over 100 students, and they have been participating in the Trex Recycling Challenge for 5 years now!

This dedicated bunch has garnered four Trex benches for their school since they have started their recycling journey.

It wasn’t easy – they were off to a very slow start – but thanks to their amazing community, they started to collect more approved plastic films in no time.

Through the help of local churches, community clubs, and even parent jobs, Springfield Greenspring doubled its collection of recycled films! That’s when Gayle had to ask the dads to help her haul all of their films to the local food line for their drop-offs.

As the years go on, the community has become even more involved. Families clean and save all of their bags, the local recycling center saves any plastic that people bring their other recyclables in, and their community store “Helping Hands” saves and donates their plastics to Springfield Greenspring Elementary School’s challenge total too! Even farmers have started to help out.

Gayle and the entire Springfield Greenspring community have already made such a big impact on the environment, we can’t wait to see how Springfield Greenspring Elementary Recycles2Win the challenge this year!

Cardinal Newman High School Green Club "School of Excellence"

We love seeing the hard work of the students at Cardinal Newman High! The Green Club has been collecting plastic all year long! Way to go Crusaders! The Cardinal Newman High Green Club is an organization dedicated to the enrichment of science at Cardinal Newman High School. Members will participate in organizing campus recycling, science tutoring, and can participate in Science Fair competitions. It is a student-run organization, where they are responsible for and will take a hands-on approach to increase science and environmental awareness on school grounds. Due to the efforts of this club, Cardinal Newman High School has been recognized as a Green School of Excellence.

Help Califon School Student Council – NexTrex Recycling Program

The Califon School Student Council is introducing the NexTrex School Recycling Challenge to Califon School! This is a great way to recycle specific plastics into new materials and keep them out of our landfill and community environment. Califon School will be competing against other schools our size and in our region. If we collect the most plastic recycling materials, we could be the proud recipient of an earth-friendly composite Trex bench for Califon School! …

What To Do With 500lbs Of Plastic Bags: Greenfield School Answers

Classrooms at Maple Grove Elementary are helping to turn plastic bags into building materials.

GREENFIELD, WI — Many households may be familiar with the infamous plastic “bag-of-bags” under the sink that tends to grow with each visit to the supermarket. It’s no wonder that the pile grows, as finding a place to recycle them in Greenfield can be tough.

That’s where Maple Grove Elementary School in the Greenfield School District has stepped in with three 2nd grade teachers who are teaching their classes about a different use for the thousands of tons of plastic bags Americans use each year: recycled building materials.

Alongside their classes, teachers Gina Waise, Vicki Kruse and Samantha Jodoin are collecting plastic bags for the NexTrex recycling program. So far, the classes have collected about 500 pounds of plastic, the teachers said in a statement to Patch.

The program seeks to divert plastic film of many types from landfills, opting instead to turn the plastic into composite building materials that can be used for decks and outdoor furniture, according to the NexTrex website….

Learn How Your Recyclables Can Become A Composite Deck With NexTrex®

YOUTUBE :: July 2020

Trex believes in an eco-friendly composite decking solution. See how your single-use plastic can be recycled with NexTrex® and you can join in on making the difference!

Are You Down To Recycle? - Starring Zac Efron

We are teaming up with Down to Earth with Zac Efron for a year-long partnership. Together we’ll bring awareness to Store Drop-Off recycling and take action to give a second life to recycled plastics.

Kathryn Bonzo, Moscow Charter Schools

In every recycling program, there’s a champion. Kathryn Bonzo is ours!

Ms. Bonzo is a 4th grade teacher at Moscow Charter School in Idaho, where she has acted as a trailblazer in her community, helping them understand the importance of sustainability and the benefits of recycling.

Kathryn became passionate about the environment during her tenure as a city council member, around the same time that China began rejecting plastics. She became obsessed with sustainability and through her research, she learned about combating waste and utilizing recycling as a resource for her community.

Once she took on this challenge and saw Trex was the one spearheading the movement, she started to meet with representatives in her city, while also reaching out to Trex to brainstorm ways to get more involved.

Ms. Bonzo has founded a recycling program at Moscow Charter School, where her students, new and old, participate in recycling efforts year-round. They have collected more than 5,000 lbs. of plastic film this school year alone!

Kathryn loves getting her students involved because they are at an age where taking action is important to them, and they just need a role model to help guide them through the motions. Ms. Bonzo acts as their liaison, helping dedicated students navigate the world to create a greener tomorrow for their generation.

We are so inspired by Kathryn’s efforts and cannot wait to see how their participation in the Trex Recycling Challenge will pay off.

Kids Schooled in Plastic Film Recycling for 15 Years

One of the largest polyethylene film recyclers in North America learns from the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge, too.

Teaching kids early on about the importance of recycling packaging is a great lesson that pays sustainable dividends going forward.

One such program, Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge, is celebrating a 15-year anniversary. Sponsored by Trex, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing, the program motivates K-12 students across the country to participate to earn prizes for their schools as they give new life to discarded plastic film.The annual competition challenges students across the country to collect and recycle polyethylene (PE) plastic film over a six-month period for the chance to win high-performance Trex products for their schools. The challenge kicks-off on America Recycles Day (Nov. 15, 2021) and concludes on Earth Day (April 22, 2022).

Trex is also a major sponsor behind the recycling program at 30,000 store locations across the country that collects PE bags, films, and packaging that are #2 recycling code plastic.

The company’s decking is manufactured from 95% recycled materials, including a mix of reclaimed wood scrap and discarded plastic film. Each year, the company repurposes approximately 850 million pounds of recycled and reclaimed material in the production of durable composite decking.

Third-grade students at Whitehouse School in Reading…….

School and Community Recycling Programs Give Plastic Film New Life

YOUTUBE :: July 2020

Trex’s NexTrex® recycling program for schools and communities give plastic film new life as Trex decking.

Trex Challenge Celebration

YOUTUBE :: July 2020

Mill Plain Elementary students wrapped up their victory as the top plastic film recycling school in Clark County on May 13, 2016 with a visit from Bagzilla, a rousing assembly and a new Trex bench, donated by the Trex Company.

Trex Welcomes Charter Next Generation as Corporate Sponsor of Trex® Plastic Film Recycling Challenge

Leading Plastic Film Producer Offers Cash Prizes for Schools that Recycle the Most Plastic Film


Have you heard about Trex®’s annual Plastic Film Recycling Challenge? Each year Trex has a friendly competition to see how much plastic film schools can recycle. This year, for the first time ever, Trex has partnered with Charter Next Generation, a sustainable film company, to get schools to recycle as much film as possible, all around the United States! The elementary, middle, and high schools that recycle the most by Earth Day (April 22, 2022) will win real cash to spend on their school. The goal of this challenge is to inspire more students and teachers across the country to recycle while helping them understand the benefits of going green, what can be recycled, and where they can take their plastics to be recycled. The more plastic we recycle, the more material Trex can upcycle into new decks and benches!

For the 15th year in a row, Trex is leading schools to learn more about the environment and proving just how easy and fun recycling can be. This year, Trex has started to work with Charter Next Generation to create even more of an incentive for going green. Trex and CNG did this by adding another way to win cash prizes. The more that students, teachers, and parents post pictures and videos of their recycled plastic film, the higher chances they have of winning money for their school. Students, teachers, and parents can post pictures and videos on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, or Twitter with the hashtags #Recycle2Win and #TrexRecyclingChallenge for extra chances to win.