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A Note from Jane

Valentine's month is a great time to show love to each other and the planet.

And, it's just in time since a new U.N. report says we've entered the Anthropocene Epoch — the Age of Humans — where
 the greatest risk to the survival of humankind is ourselves.

Steiner, the UNDP administrator, says that to "survive and thrive in this new age, we must redesign a path to progress that respects the intertwined fate of people and planet and recognizes that the carbon and material footprint of the people who have more is choking the opportunities of the people who have less." 

So, let’s start by reducing, reusing, recycling and buying recycled products. Even simple actions can help! 

And what is Valentine’s Day without a love story? This one will make you smile!
Education Director, Sonoco Recycling


Reduce and Reuse

Publix encourages customers to reduce the need for plastic grocery bags by bringing reusable bags to the store. Read their tips here.  

If you do end up with plastic bags, please reuse them as household trash bags, donate them to  Harvest Hope Food Bank (or other organizations dedicated to helping those in need) or recycle them at a local store. 

Never put plastic bags in a recycling bin or let them escape outside, where they create litter endangering wildlife. 


The past year has been a turbulent one for recycling cardboard. Many more boxes are ending up in homes rather than stores due to COVID-19.  The industry says it is critical for residents to recycle their boxes.

Recycle Right

Sonoco Recycling has provided this graphic to show what we accept.

Your Local Government may have slightly different rules. Check your rules here: Recycle more items at community events, such as the one being planned for February 27, 2021 at Riverbanks Zoo, for residents of Richland and Lexington Counties. Details here.
Don’t Bag Recyclables
Keep plastic bags and other plastic film out of your recycling cart. Plastic bags and film can cause serious issues at recycling facilities by jamming equipment, causing delays and expensive repairs. You can ONLY recycle plastic bags and film at stores that offer plastic bag recycling. Be sure the bags are dry and empty. 

Recently, bags like the ones pictured below have been seen on store
shelves. Don’t think that because they are called recycling bags they are accepted in carts here in the Midlands. 

Buy Recycled

COLAtoday recently featured Kore Shorts, made from 4 to 5 recycled plastic soda bottles. These are made in California. But, many brands of recycled products are made right here in the Carolinas using Repreve fabric by Unify in Reidsville, N.C.

New Local Recycling Leaders

Congratulations to:


Sonoco is partnering with Integrated Systems, Inc., a Darlington, South Carolina, vertically integrated robotics and advanced automation provider, to aid Sonoco’s businesses in continuing to advance its use of automation to improve the efficiency of its global manufacturing operations.

In addition, Sonoco Recycling, here in Columbia, has our own recycling robots to complete our sorting process.

Beyond Recycling

  • Congaree Riverkeeper volunteers helped collect more than 1,000 pounds of trash from the banks of the Broad River in Columbia’s Riverfront Park on the Martin Luther King Day of Service.
  • Keep the Midlands Beautiful is offering mandatory safety training and orientation for new group leaders of Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt -A-Spot via zoom or on their new online, self-paced module.
  • The South Carolina Wildlife Federation (SCWF) recently welcomed six new leaders to their statewide Board of Directors: Mallory Daily (Clemson), Cameron Foster (Lexington), Rosemary Martin-Jones (Ridgeway), Digit Matheny (Mt. Pleasant), Montgomery Spillane (Greenville) and Jim Taylor (Columbia).

Upcoming Events

Applications open for Fiscal Year 2021 Richland County Conservation Commission Grants – Historic Preservation and Community Conservation.

Hazardous Waste Drop-off for Lexington County residents at EcoFlo, 1741 Caulk’s Ferry Rd, Lexington
Read more here.

(12pm – 1pm)
South Carolina Wildlife Federation free zoom class, “Winter Birding & Great Backyard Bird”

(9am – 12:30pm)
Blue Thumb Landscaper Conference (Virtual)     

Midlands Recycling Event at Riverbanks Zoo for residents of Richland and Lexington Counties and the City of Columbia. Details here.
Copyright © 2021 Sonoco Recycling, All rights reserved.

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