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One ton of plastic bags going to make Delaware park benches

Fifteen state park benches will be made out of a ton of plastic bags in honor of Earth Month, officials announced April 15.

Gov. John Carney and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin toured a facility where Delaware State Parks will have 15 benches made from excess plastic bags.

In 2020, the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation converted its plastic carry-in carry-out bags at Delaware State Parks to corn- and paper-based products. Left with an excess of plastic bags, the division worked with Eco Plastic Products of Delaware, a nonprofit organization, to have the bags turned into benches for Delaware State Parks.

Each bench will be made of 127 pounds of plastic bags – about 30,000 of them. The excess plastic bags, roughly 450,000 weighed about 2,000 pounds, enough to produce 15 benches for the parks. The benches will be placed throughout Delaware State Parks with informational plaques about their making and the division’s Carry-in, Carry-Out Trash-Free Parks Program.

Carry-In, Carry-Out, which was implemented in Delaware State Parks in 1994, asks visitors to take their trash with them when they leave, reducing the strain on limited resources and increasing the beauty of the parks. The corn and paper bags now used in state parks are available to help visitors participate in the program. This program promotes recycling and has saved Delaware State Parks millions of dollars. It also helps keep Delaware State Parks cleaner for all visitors.

Editor’s note: Look for Delaware Recycles, a guide to recycling right in The First State, a publication produced by Cape Gazette via a grant from Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, in partnership with Delaware Solid Waste Authority. The booklet will be inserted in newspapers throughout the state and available at