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ST CROIX — Making a Positive Impact in St. Croix Through Sustainability. Recycling on St. Croix has been an ongoing battle. However, recent efforts by private entities have given the island community a renewed sense of hope that helpful solutions are on the way! RePlastic Recycle is the newest organization dedicated to turning trash into valuable materials for the island of St. Croix. Their micro recycling operations include collection, breakdown, washing, and repurposing of plastic waste. With the use of innovative techniques and equipment, RePlastic Recycle can transform plastic waste into durable high-quality indoor/outdoor furnishings, souvenirs, decor, signs, and much more.

RePlastic Recycle is a family run organization with Lacy Geddie, along with her mother Amy Bowler, and stepfather Steve Chmura, as the owner-operators. As Director of Operations, Geddie has always felt deeply moved by the lack of safe trash disposal and recycling. Together with Amy and Steve serving as President and Vice President respectively, this idea that has been over a year in the making finally opened its door in April 2023 and has kept them busy ever since.

The organization can currently repurpose two types of plastic: Type 2, which is High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Type 5, which is Polypropylene (PP) such as laundry detergent, liquid bleach containers, and containers that hold yogurt, cream cheese and butter products. This led them to work directly with businesses such as laundromats and restaurants since they use large quantities of these items daily. The recycled plastic is saved from the island’s landfill and repurposed into high quality useable goods. With this new life, items can be used for long periods of time like furniture, building supplies, key chains, and magnets. One of their main initiatives is making bricks that can be used for safe, emergency housing alternatives during and after natural disasters. These bricks can be strengthened with additives and have the capability to withstand the environment until permanent structures can be erected.

As of July 11th, the organization officially recycled 2000 pounds of plastic — a major accomplishment after three months of operations. They currently host public plastic collection drives where individuals and businesses can bring their clean plastic types 2 and 5 for recycling.

“With a small team, we’re unable to begin regular collection for the general public,” said Geddie, “but these collection drives allow us to accept items from individuals several times throughout the year. RePlastic Recycle’s vision for the organization’s future is to start recycling glass and aluminum within two to three years. They also plan on collaborating with the territory schools to create a curriculum centered on recycling. To learn more about RePlastic Recycle, visit their website at replasticrecycle. com or visit them on Facebook and Instagram using @ReplasticRecycle.

Written by Anquanette Gaspard