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Help Chelsea High School Students Recycle Plastic Bags and Film, Win Contest

Courtesy photo from Katy Fillion. Some of the plastic collected by Chelsea High School Independence Hall students that was dropped off by the community.
Courtesy photo from Kathy Fillion. Plastic film being dropped off.

(Chelsea Update would like to thank Shawn Sinacola for the information in this story and Katy Fillion for the photos.)

As of March 15, 2023, Chelsea High School (CHS) Independence Hall students and staff have collected 16,796 pounds of plastic bags and film, as they are competing in the Trex Plastic Film Recycling Challenge to help divert plastic bags from the landfill.

This year’s challenge ends Thursday, April 13, and CHS is currently in second place. Check out the leader board at

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.

Chelsea High School Arbor Club and Independence Hall have twice earned a Trex bench made from recycled plastic bags and film. These two benches are under the Weeping Willow Memorial Tree in the Alumni Arbor, and the community is welcome to come visit them, especially during Earth Day, April 22, when students will be working in the Alumni Arbor from 10 am to 2 pm.

However, CHS has yet to earn a cash prize for their efforts.

Arbor Club student Rory Krause, CHS class of 2020, brought plastic film collection to the club’s awareness back in the fall of 2019, and CHS has been collecting plastic bags and stretchy #4 plastic ever since.

It is our intention to bring awareness to the issue of single use plastics in our community, encourage people to refuse plastic bags, and help divert plastic film that cannot be avoided from the landfill.

Please consider finally making the switch to reusable bags, if you have not already done so.

For all other plastic film that you cannot avoid, please drop it off at one of our pick-up locations by Thursday, April 13 to be counted toward this year’s challenge. Drop off locations include Chelsea High School, Chelsea District Library, Dexter Township, WSEC, Lakehouse Bakery, and Silver Maples of Chelsea.

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