New life for old plastics
Gregg Watkins
Send on way group

More than 144,000 tons of plastics are generated in Charlotte households every year with only a little more than 3,000 tons being recycled.  Consumer interest and environmental concerns about the end-of-life for plastic materials continues to intensify around the globe, with many local governments struggling to find economically viable strategies for collecting or commercializing plastic waste.

To change this cycle and accelerate innovation, the City of Charlotte and Envision Charlotte have launched the public-private Send Me on My Way campaign to educate consumers about the potential of the circular economy and to collect a clean stream of plastics suitable for being recycled into new materials.Send on way

How It Will Work

The campaign will employ the help of ambassadors at local companies to educate their colleagues on plastic recycling and encourage them to use designated recycling bins in their facilities. The materials collected in the special Send Me On My Way recycling bins will be deposited on the Send Me On My Way bus, a retired Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) bus, which was donated and retrofitted to transport the collected plastics from the company drop-off sites to Coca Cola Consolidated and Sealed Air which will send the plastics on their way to their next life where they will become new packaging, or transformed into new materials such as polyester.

"We hope that this is the first of many programs to engage our citizens and transform our community into a more circular one with less waste going to the landfill while promoting innovation and entrepreneurship," says Marcus Jones, Charlotte City Manager.

For more information on Circular Charlotte, visit