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Hilex Poly funds Clemson study

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Staff Report
Published Sept. 10, 2012

Hilex Poly LLC is funding a Clemson University study on the environmental impact of grocery bag materials.

Clemson received $179,864 to analyze the impact of bags, including plastic, paper and reusable bags made of non-woven fabrics.

Hilex Poly manufactures plastic bag and film products. It operates a closed-loop plastic bag recycling facility where plastic bags are turned back into resin pellets and then into new bags.

The Clemson analysis will investigate the greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and other environmental impacts produced from product sourcing to final disposal.

“What are the real consequences to the environmental health of our communities, forests, wildlife and waterways? We need to do a comprehensive and unbiased study of what the facts are,” said Robert Kimmel, Clemson’s associate professor in the food, nutrition and packaging sciences department, in a news release.

The plan is to publish a factual, scientific-based analysis of grocery bag manufacture, use and disposal, resulting from a new environmental impact study of the types of grocery bags most commonly used in the U.S. and based on U.S. data and assumptions.

Kay Cooksey, Cryovac Endowed Chair in Packaging Science at Clemson, is the co-investigator. She and a small team of students will examine the legislative and activist roles in implementing policies affecting grocery bags. The group also will review literature and trends.

Hilex has 11 locations nationwide, including one in Hartsville.

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